Astronomical observations for August

As you may know, astronomy was recognized as one of the classical subjects that would eventually be classified under the seven liberal arts. In particular, astronomy provided the practical exploration of geometry’s theoretical speculations. One of the original “applied udallasciences, astronomy gives the opportunity to observe geometry in action, as we measure the relative positions and movements of the heavenly bodies. 

Of course, there’s also the beauty of astronomical observations. Like tonight, when those of us in the northern hemisphere will be treated to a heavenly light show known as the Perseid Meteor Shower. Thanks to the Earth’s crossing of the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, we terrestrial residents are treated each summer to a fiery display of rock falling from the sky. Or, more simply, the comet’s debris plummeting through and burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere. 

In any case, it’s a good opportunity to orient yourself to the constellation Perseus (named after the mythical demigod, son of Zeus and Danaë), find a comfortable spot to recline, and enjoy the meteor shower! 

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