A Perseid falling star in 2007. Image Source: Wiki.
The Perseids meteor shower is peaking this week and next in the Northern Hemisphere. The meteors are the spacedust chunks from Comet Swift-Tuttle, and named for the the word Perseides (Περσείδες), those born of Perseus and Andromeda. Go outside, look to the Northeast near the North Star, and make a wish. There is some concern that the full moon will block the view. Rich Talcott, senior editor of Astronomy magazine:
“The key thing is to position yourself so there’s a tree or building blocking the moon. That won’t solve the whole problem, but it will mitigate it. ... [Or avoid the moon by going] out at 4 or 4:30 Aug. 11 [the shower's peak]: There will be a 30-minute window after the moon sets, and you might see 15 to 20 meteors an hour.”
Even if you live somewhere where you can't see them, they're there. The ancients believed that stars fell when the heavens opened and the gods peeked down to regard Earth, spilling stardust upon us. And just for that moment, if you caught their ear, they would hear you and answer your prayers. See my earlier post on the mythology around falling stars here.
Image Source: Astronomy Magazine via News Press.