A Fiery Ball

by Freeman J. Martin, 9 | Feb 8, 2022 | 0 comments

In August, Dad decided to take the family to Cherry Springs Park in Pennsylvania, which has the darkest night sky east of the Mississippi River. We ventured out with food, binoculars, tents, our telescope, and a borrowed one.

When we got to our destination, we were pleased that the evening sky was clear. We unfolded our tents and filled the air mattresses.

It was still bright enough to see clearly, so we decided to go exploring. There were many people camping with all kinds of telescopes. As the sky darkened, folks plastered red stickers on their lights, because white light was not permitted.

Slowly Jupiter and Saturn became visible. As time went on, the Big and Little Dippers gleamed, and the Milky Way spilled across the sky.

After we had studied our star map, Gary began aligning the telescope for Jupiter, then Saturn, and a handful of other star clusters. Suddenly he shouted!

A ball of fire swept through the sky! Its tail was flaming with many colors. As the meteor raced across the starry heavens, it changed from red to blue to green. In seconds it exploded. Its magnificence died away as quietly as it had appeared. Cheers and applause erupted from the breathless spectators.

Finally I got so tired I crawled into my tent and fell asleep.

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