Astronomy

Will I be able to see the Leonid Meteor Shower during mid night?

Will I be able to see the Leonid Meteor Shower during mid night?

Most of the articles online say that the peak will be in a couple of days and around 2:00 AM in the night. I am currently living in Dubai, UAE.

When I use Google Sky Maps, it shows both the Leonids Meteor Shower and Leo Constellation below the horizon, when using the search feature. It only comes above the horizon at around 6:00 AM, when it is 45 minutes since sun rise.

So, I am not sure whether it'd be dark enough to see them. What is my best course of action.

EDIT: This link: https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/leonids.html shows Leonids will appear at 65° Azimuth and 1.7° altitude. How'd I interpret that?


Leo starts to rise at about midnight, local time, so you should be fine, weather permitting. Note also that you may be able to see meteors even before then, as Leo is merely that part of the sky from which the meteors appear to originate, but you will likely be able to see them some distance away from Leo.

I don't know where the Google rise time comes from.

EDIT; the link you added shows Leo rising at about midnight, confirming that the google source is incorrect, or not being correctly interpreted.


Solar Eclipse and Meteor Shower to Launch 2011 Skywatching Season

The year 2011 promises to be a dazzling one for skywatchers, and it hits the ground running with a partial solar eclipse and meteor shower.

But those two sky spectacles are just the beginning for 2011. Here are some of the more noteworthy sky events that will take place over the next year. SPACE.com's Night Sky column will provide more extensive coverage of most of these events as they draw closer.

Jan. 4Meteor shower, solar eclipse and planets (oh my!): An action-packed day on the celestial calendar. First, the Quadrantid Meteor Shower reaches its peak during the predawn hours. Its one of the best meteor displays of the year, with 50 to 100 meteors per hour. Those living in Europe and western and central Asia should have the best views.

As a bonus, those areas of the world will witness a partial eclipse of the sun on this same day. The greatest part of the eclipse, where nearly 86 percent of the suns diameter will be covered, occurs at sunrise over northeastern Sweden, along the Gulf of Bothnia, near the city of Skellefte Cities in Western Europe, including Oslo, London, Paris and Madrid, will also enjoy a sunrise eclipse.

Finally, Jupiter will engage Uranus in the last of a series of three conjunctions there have been only six such triple conjunctions between 1801 and 2200.The last was in 1983 and the next will come during 2037-38.

March 15Mercury and Jupiter draw close: Like two ships passing in the twilight, Mercury and Jupiter come within 2 degrees of each other this evening. For comparison, your fist held at arm's length covers about 10 degrees of arc in the night sky.

Jupiter will be heading toward the sun, while Mercury is moving away from the sun during this time. Immediately after sunset, concentrate on that part of the sky just above and to the left of where the sun has just set. Using binoculars, sweep around this part of the sky to see bright Jupiter sitting just below and to the left of the harder-to-spot Mercury.

May (all month long): Four of the five naked-eye planets will crowd together into what could be described as a Great Celestial Summit Meeting.

Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter are contained within a 10-degree span on May 1, shrinking to a minimum of less than 6 degrees on May 12, then opening back up to 10 degrees on May 20.

Twice during May, three planets close to within nearly 2 degrees of each other: Mercury-Venus-Jupiter (on May 11-12) and Mercury-Venus-Mars (May 21). And the crescent moon joins the array on May 1 and again on May 30-31.

June 1A partial eclipse of the sun: The zone of visibility for this eclipse covers parts of northeast Asia, where the largest eclipse occurs over Cheshskaya Bay and the Bolshezemelskaya Tundra of far northwestern Russia. Here, the upper three-fifths of the midnight sun will appear bitten away.

The eclipse will also be available to the northern two-thirds of Alaska (an early afternoon event), as well as northern and eastern portions of Canada, where viewers will see the eclipse during the course of their afternoon, as the sun slowly descends toward the west-northwest horizon.

Greenland and Iceland are also within the eclipse zone, the latter getting a view just before the sun begins to set in their late evening. The penumbral shadow quits the surface over the open waters of the Atlantic to the east of Newfoundland, as the sun passes out of sight.

June 15A total eclipse of the moon: The Americas are pretty much shut out of this event, but almost the entire Eastern Hemisphere will be able see it. [Photos: The Total Lunar Eclipse of 2010]

At mid-eclipse, the moon passes just north of the center of the Earth's shadow. As such, the duration of totality is an unusually long 100 minutes, which is just seven minutes shy of the absolute maximum for a total lunar eclipse. In fact, over the last one hundred years, only three other eclipses have rivaled the duration of totality of this eclipse: 1935, July 16 (101 minutes) 1982, July 6 (107 minutes), and 2000, July 16 (107 minutes).

Aug. 13Perseidmeteor shower: More of a lowlight than a highlight the annual summer performance of the Perseid meteor shower will be severely hindered by the light of a full moon.

Oct. 8Draconidmeteor shower: Many meteor experts are predicting a good chance that an outburst of up to many hundreds of Draconid meteors will take place. Unfortunately, like the Perseids, a bright moon could severely hamper visibility. The peak of the display is due sometime between 16h and 21h UT, meaning that the best chances of seeing any enhanced activity from these very slow-moving meteors would be from Eastern Europe and Asia.

Nov. 10Mars and bright star: A colorful conjunction takes place high in the predawn sky between the yellow-orange Mars and the bluish-white star Regulus in Leo, the Lion. They are separated by 1.3 degrees, but theyll be within 2 degrees of each other for five days and within 5 degrees of each other for nearly three weeks, so they will be a rather long-enduring feature of the mid-autumn morning sky.

Nov. 25A partial eclipse of the sun: The earths penumbral shadow brushes the southern and western portion of South Africa. Greatest eclipse nearly 91 percent of the suns diameter covered as it reaches a magnitude of 0.905 occurs at a point in the Bellingshausen Sea along the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The shadow (just barely) manages to pass over Tasmania as well as portions of New Zealand's South Island. In fact, the last contact of the shadow with Earth occurs just to the west of the South Island, in the Tasman Sea.

Dec. 10A total eclipse of the moon: The side of the Earth that is facing the moon during this event is chiefly the Pacific Ocean, with eastern and central Asia seeing this as an evening event, while for North Americans this is a pre-sunrise affair.

From a spot in the Philippine Sea, south of Japan and east of Taiwan, the moon will stand directly overhead during the middle of the eclipse. For those living in the Eastern Time Zone of the U.S. and Canada, the moon will have already dropped out of sight beyond the west-northwest horizon for those living near and along the Atlantic Seaboard.

Over the central U.S. and Canada, the moon will become progressively immersed in the umbra as it approaches its setting the farther west you go, the larger the obscuration before the moon goes out of sight. The western U.S. and Canada will be able to see the total phase.

Dec. 13Another low-light meteor shower: The Geminid meteor shower, now ranked as the best of the annual meteor showers, has the misfortune of occurring during the time of a waning gibbous moon, which will pretty much squelch all but the brightest meteors.

Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for The New York Times and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12 Westchester, New York.


RELATED ARTICLES

However, because this year's schedule of meteor showers happens to coincide with the full moon cycle, they may be difficult to spot with the sky so brightly lit.

Because the Draconids move relatively slowly in stellar terms - 12 miles per second - they're faint and the moonlight tends to wash them out.

'The moon sucks. It's messed up meteor showers this year,' said Nasa space weatherman Bill Cooke, who is based at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The meteor shower is named after the constellation from which they appear to emerge, which in this case is Draco, the dragon.

The Draconids have previously put on some spectacular shows.

In 1933 and 1946 observers reported an astounding rate of 20,000 shooting stars an hour, leading one Irish astronomer to describe the 1933 episode as being like a flurry of snowflakes.

If this Draconid shower isn't visible, there won't be another chance to catch it until 2018.

Instead you will have to satisfy yourself with the arrival of the Orionids on October 22 - remnants from Halley's Comet - which are expected to number a rather more sedate 20 meteors an hour.

Then there are the Leonids in mid-November - with as many as 100 meteors an hour - but . says it may not be any easier to glimpse those to showers either.

'Unfortunately, the moon will interfere with them as well,' said Mr Cooke.


Perseids

I know we are all about lumen- and throw-monster flashlights, but tonight, turn them off and watch a light spectacle from Mother Nature. The Perseid meteors likely peaked last night, but tonight would be a good chance to spy a few if you have clear, dark skies. Try to get out about midnight local time so you have an hour or two before moonrise, which, of course, hampers viewing.

Don’t believe the media hype. It is often poorly written and misleading. You will not see 100 per hour unless you are under the darkest of skies, have very keen visual acuity, and happen to be looking at peak time. What you likely will see, even tonight, under good conditions, are maybe 10 to 20 meteors per hour. A few of them will likely be as bright or brighter than Venus, and will leave “smoking” ionization trails in the sky.

Also, to tie back into flashlights, good chance to carry your favorite red/white light. I find the Nitecore EC-11 works well. Two button. Direct both to a low red (preserving night viz), and 900 lumen turbo for when you hear branches snap nearby : )

I went out on Sunday night to a darker area to view the meteor shower (the next few nights were forecast to be cloudy). This was supposed to be before the peak and I saw about 10 in an hour, two of them were very satisfying long, slow, and bright ones. I also saw more satellites than I’ve ever seen before.

Afterwards I took advantage of the dark open spaces by playing with some of my brightest flashlights.

Only saw 3 meteors last night during an hour of viewing before the moon rose.

Always wish for a new moon and clear skies for viewing the Perseids every August 11th.

Mars, Saturn and Jupiter were spectacularly visible to the naked eye. Could not locate Uranus or Neptune with binoculars and did not notice any satellites.

"SkyView Lite" (the free version of "SkyView" from developer "Terminal Eleven LLC") is an interesting cell phone astronomy application as it uses the camera on your phone to both search for and identify celestial objects.

How many flashlights does a "real man" need?

None, real men are not afraid of the dark.

Only saw 3 meteors last night during an hour of viewing before the moon rose.

Yes seems a bit of a weak display this year though the radiant is quite low at that time. I only saw 10 Perseids in 90 minutes, but a few were quite nice. One was a pinkish “219b” tint, and left a nice train.

I am going to try again tonight, but it seems that the shower might not be as strong this year. Check out the live ZHR at imo.net to see how things are trending across the globe.

I know this is a stupid question, but how does one start out to see these planets?

Where does one begin to look?

If I use a telescope or binoculars where does one point it?

Is this a complex exercise and not worth the time or is is easy?

I would certainly like to see these heavenly bodies one day.

NeNeNe — Google wants to be your friend. The answers we can give you will vary depending on where you live and how much schooling you’ve had. Give us more of a clue about where you’re coming from so we can try to give you answers appropriate to your ability to make use of them.

I ask that because it sounds like you’re starting with very little information. For example you’ve almost certainly seen Venus and Jupiter and Saturn if you have access to the night and early morning skies at all, where you live. For another example can we assume you know what the “plane of the ecliptic” is, or should we start simpler?

Your question seems like an invitation to recreational typing, it could spur a whole lot of work on the part of people here that won’t help you much unless you give us an idea where you’re starting in understanding basic astronomy.

Or you can start reading on your own, e.g.:

You want a wide field of view so no binocs or scopes. Just get out away from city lights, let your eyes adapt and look up maybe 45 degrees from the horizon. On peak night of a strong shower, you should not have to wait long. Check out IMO or AMS and you can get a ton of information.

Back in 1998 I took my first shot at it and got lucky. Colorful, fireball-class Leonid meteors zoomed overhead reminiscent of SCUD missiles (for those who remember that conflict). It got me hooked.

During the years, I have seen the most Perseid meteors on the evening of August 11th and the Perseids are the best of the annual meteor showers for easy viewing in my opinion.

There are many objects (both natural and man-made) and phenomena (like the Northern Lights and Eclipses) in the sky that you can view with the naked eye. You do not need a telescope or binoculars just a clear sky and sometimes being at the right place at the right time.

It is easy to obtain enjoyment without taking much time or experience and you will be able to impress your friends and family with your new knowledge.

1) Use this link to determine which planets you should be able see from your location and when you can see them and where to look for them. You can enter or change your geographical location and select the particular time and date for when you will be looking for the planets. You can also select a particular planet.

2) Use the "SkyView Lite" app (the free version of "SkyView" from developer "Terminal Eleven LLC") on your cell phone and you will have a virtual map of the sky on your phone. While using the app, you hold your phone out at arms length (looking at the phone and the sky at the same time) and move the phone to locate the "target indicator circle" displayed by the app on the phone's screen over any celestial object on the phone's screen and the app will tell you (in writing at the bottom of the screen) what you are looking at.

The app also lets you search for a particular object by name and you then move the phone so that the "target indicator circle" is on the object you are searching for to find the object in the sky. The app also shows a virtual horizon and you can point the phone below that to see what is there that you cannot see. It also indicates which direction you are looking. It is a pretty amazing app for free, but I am not sure how much LTE data it uses in case you have a monthly data limit as I normally use it with Wi-Fi near my house which fortunately has no nearby night time light pollution.

Sometimes it takes my phone a little while to synchronize the virtual map with the actual sky because I leave the app setting on the default auto-calibrate and auto-locate option, but you can manually calibrate and provide your location with an option in the settings after selecting the icon that looks like a "wrench". After you use the app for a while, you will notice that it is easier to use than my explanations.

This YouTube video demonstrates some basic features of the "SkyView Lite" app:


Will we be able to see the Leonid meteor shower this weekend?

This weekend will see the annual peak of the Leonid meteor shower taking place, as the earth moves through a stream of particles from the Tempel-Tuttle comet.

The meteor shower is the result of tiny bits of material similar to the size of sand grains hitting earth’s atmosphere and burning up.

In the process of burning up, bursts of bright light are emitted which streak across the sky – something commonly referred to as shooting stars.

Each year, the Leonid meteor shower can deposit as much as 10-15 tons of dust particles over the whole planet.

However, if you’re hoping to spot them on Saturday night, you may have to be patient. This year, the Leonids are expected to occur at a frequency of around 10 per hour.

In comparison, the Perseids meteor shower tends to deliver 60 or more per hour during its peak each August, although this number can vary each year.

This year, the weather is looking favourable to see them across much of the UK, with clear skies expected. However, cloud may linger until a little after midnight for East Anglia and parts of south east England.

If you manage to capture the meteor shower on camera, I’d love to see your pictures. You can send them to me on Twitter – @liamdutton


The UK may be able to see the northern lights tonight!

Scientists around the world will be watching closely as three eruptions from the Sun reach the Earth over Thursday and Friday.

These "coronal mass ejections" will slam into the Earth's magnetic shield.

The waves of charged solar particles are the result of three solar flares directed at Earth in recent days, including the most powerful since 2006.

The biggest flares can disrupt technology, including power grids, communications systems and satellites.

The northern lights (Aurora Borealis) may also be visible further south than is normally the case - including from northern parts of the UK.

"Our current view is that the effect of the solar flare is likely to reach Earth later today (Thursday GMT), possibly tomorrow morning," said Alan Thomson, head of geomagnetism at the British Geological Survey (BGS).

He told BBC News: "In the scientific community, there's a feeling that it's not as intense as we first thought it might be. But it's possible still that it could be a large enough event for us to see the northern lights in the UK."

However, weather forecasts suggested cloudy conditions could mar views of any aurorae.

Technological impact
The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said that three coronal mass ejections (CMEs) were en route as the result of solar flares on the 13, 14 and 15 February (GMT).

"The last of the three seems to be the fastest and may catch both of the forerunners about mid-to-late day tomorrow, February 17," read a statement from Noaa's Space Weather Prediction Center.


The northern lights could be seen further south than is normal
The flare recorded at 0156 GMT on 15 February was the strongest such event in four years, according to the US space agency (Nasa), which has been monitoring activity on the Sun. The event was classified as a so-called X-flare, the most intense type.

The source of all three events, sunspot 1158, has expanded rapidly in recent days.

Solar flares are caused by the sudden release of magnetic energy stored in the Sun's atmosphere.

Their effects can interfere with modern technology on Earth, such as electrical power grids, communications systems and satellites - including satellite navigation (or sat-nav) signals.

Although scientists are expecting most geomagnetic activity to occur on Thursday, Chinese state media has already reported some disruption to shortwave radio communications in the south of the country.

Awakening Sun
In 1972, a geomagnetic storm provoked by a solar flare knocked out long-distance telephone communication across the US state of Illinois. And in 1989, another storm plunged six million people into darkness across the Canadian province of Quebec.

Dr Thomson said it was possible infrastructure could be affected this time, but stressed: "The X-flare that was observed the other day was lower in magnitude than similar flares that have been associated with technological damage such as the loss of the Quebec power grid. and even the large magnetic storm in 2003, which caused some damage to satellites in orbit."

Scientists will have around half an hour's notice that the wave of charged particles is about to hit the Earth's magnetic shield.

This is taken from the point at which a Nasa satellite called Ace (the Advanced Composition Explorer) registers the solar radiation on its instruments: "We're sitting waiting for that event to happen," said Dr Thomson.

Researchers say the Sun has been awakening after a period of several years of low activity.


Be Sure To See The Leonid Meteor Shower This Weekend

RafaelMousob / Pixabay

Even if you are not an astronomy enthusiast, the annual mid-November Leonid Meteor Shower is worth taking a look at this weekend. The Shower will be visible in the night sky Friday to Saturday night and early Saturday morning, with an hourly rate of 10 to 20 meteors. These Leonids are coming from the constellation Leo, the Lion, as the name suggests, and are coming from the east, although you should be able to see them all across the night sky.

The Leonids meteor showers have been some of the greatest that we have seen in the past. Some years they have been more intense than others when they provided us with a true light-show, meteor storm. For instance, back in 1833, the Leonid meteor storm included an outstanding hourly rate of 100,000 meteors per hour, according to Earthsky.org. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t apply for this year, as viewers are expected to see an hourly rate of 10 to 20 meteors.

Meteors are better known as “shooting stars,” and they are leftover comet dust. Actually, they are tiny sand-sized bits of dust and debris that crumble off the Tempel-Tuttle comet every time it passes by the Earth. The dust and debris that comes from the comet burn as they enter our atmosphere.

Carlson Capital's Double Black Diamond fund added 1.47% net of fees in May, taking its year-to-date performance to 5.2%, according to a copy of the fund's letter, which ValueWalk has been able to review. Q1 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Founded in 1993 by Clint Carlson, Carlson Capital has struggled to retain assets Read More

But, overall, the Leonid meteor shower this weekend is not much different than any other meteor shower in particular. The best time to observe the shower is between the hours of midnight to dawn, according to Earthsky.org.

David Samuhel, who is an astronomy blogger and meteorologist at AccuWeather, wrote that people should invest in at least an hour to watch the meteor shower.

He also noted, “Do not look at any light source during that hour, like a phone, flashlight, or any type of screen. Your eyes will gradually adjust by a half hour, then you will have perfect night vision. You also want to lay as flat as possible so you can see as much of the sky as possible.”

Also, important factors for a good view of the shower are the moon and the weather. A clear night sky and “New Moon” phase yield great results when it comes to observing the shower. This year’s visibility will be on a high level because of the stage of the moon, as the new moon for this month will take place on Nov. 18. That means that the meteors won’t be washed out by the lunar light, according to Space.com.

In terms of weather, while the Southwest should have the best conditions for observing, the northern Plains and along the Southeast coast also look good. People in the Pacific Northwest and Northeast won’t have as much luck.

“A large storm system will be moving from the Plains into the Great Lakes, and cloudy skies are forecast to dominate much of the eastern half of the nation,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Kyle Elliot.

“Rain and thunderstorms will put an even bigger damper on viewing conditions in many of these areas.”

We are crossing our fingers for excellent weather conditions for the upcoming Leonid Meteor Shower! Don’t miss it!


Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight: Leonids Easy to See in Dark Sky

Annual Leonid meteor shower to peak in wee hours of Saturday.

Weather permitting, a dark, moonless night should set the stage for a particularly vivid sky show tonight, the peak of the annual Leonid meteor shower. (Read about last year's Leonid meteor shower.)

Sky-watchers should be able to spot even the faintest Leonid meteors, with up to about two dozen meteors an hour lighting up the night in the wee hours of Saturday.

The Leonids are so named because they seem to radiate from the constellation Leo, the Lion, which in the Northern Hemisphere this time of year rises around local midnight, and by 3:00 a.m. is high in the eastern sky. (See a Leonid viewing diagram.)

Like most meteor showers, the Leonids are caused by Earth plowing through a comet's dust trail, in this case comet Tempel-Tuttle, which completes a circuit of the sun every 33 years. When the comet gets close to the sun, melting ice releases pieces of dust, most no larger than grains of sand. (See asteroid and comet pictures.)

During a meteor shower, Earth "is like a car speeding through a cloud of insects on the freeway: The windshield side of the car slams into the insects, leaving streaks on the glass that you can see," said Ben Burress, staff astronomer at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California.

"If you look out the back window of the car, you won't see bug streaks, because that's the direction the car is coming from," he said.

Meteor Storms Can Create Mega-Shows

Though this year will likely see a good Leonid meteor show, it can get even better: Sometimes the Leonids produce meteor storms that set off as many as a few hundred so-called shooting stars an hour during the peak.

The last big Leonid storm occurred in 2002, with 3,000 meteors falling an hour at the height of the action. But the granddaddy of all meteor storms—and the root of Leonids' mythical status among generations of sky-watchers—was the 1833 storm, when as many as a hundred thousand shooting stars occurred in one hour.

"But since it's been about ten years since the last [big Leonid] storm, we should be in a quiet period" until the comet again approaches the sun in two decades, Burress said.

In general, "It's amazing to think that these pieces of dust are often specks of material left over from the formation of the solar system, captured by the comet and transported into our part of the solar system," he added.

"They are often 4.5-billion-year-old bits, and we see them vaporize in a flash!"


LEONIDS METEOR SHOWER 2022

Leonids meteor streams are groups of meteoroids originating from dust grains ejected from Commet 55P / Tempel-Tuttle. These small dust grains (meteoroids) are distributed along the parent comet's orbit concentrated close to the comet nucleus with fewer grains farther away from the nucleus. Every time the Earth passes through this stream of dust particles (i.e. meteor stream), we experience what is known as a Leonids meteor shower. These brief streaks of light from meteors, sometimes called "shooting stars", peak on Thursday night the 17th November 2022 when earth moves through the center of the dust trail left behind by the comet.

How to view the Leonids

Go outside, find a dark spot and look north-east near the constelation of Leo for the Leonids radiant. Meteor showers are strictly for night owls or early risers. The best time to view the Leonids is from around 3h00 in the early morning to about 4h15 when dawn breaks. They ordinarily pick up steam after midnight and display the greatest meteor numbers just before dawn. The Leonid stream is perhaps most famous for its periodic storms occurring at roughly 33-year intervals when its associated comet, P/Tempel-Tuttle, returns to perihelion which last occured on 28th February 1998 and is expected to return on 20th May 2031. They are very fast and very bright with most leaving trains. You should be able to see 15 streaks an hour or more during the peak. The Leonids meteor shower is active from the 6th Nov to 30rd Nov with fewer activity either side of the peak time.


Day 228: The Hope Project

When I first read The Alchemist about 6 months ago I was struck by this idea of one decision changing the course of life. I even wrote down the quote so that I could reference it in the future: “making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to place he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” I don’t think I had ever really thought through the seemingly inconsequential decisions of life, but while traveling, even the smallest decision has huge ramifications.

On a cold January day in Zagreb, Croatia, I decided to go on a walking tour. Little did I know that this decision would have huge consequences on my time in Greece 3 months later. I was alone, but someone decided to talk to me and at the end of the tour invited me to lunch. After sharing our stories of how we ended up in Zagreb, I learned that she was on her way to Lesvos, Greece, to work for a legal NGO. She told me to reach out to her when I was headed that way, and I said that I would.

About a month ago, I sent Stéfanie a message, and she helped me organize everything. After a sleepless night at the Thessaloniki airport, I arrived in Mytilene on the island of Lesvos. I had coordinated with The Hope Project and was planning on volunteering for two weeks. I had decided to volunteer to learn more about the refugee crisis and what was happening in Greece. After two weeks there, I can honestly say that I’m still confused about the situation. I have a really hard time understanding how bureaucracy trumps humanity. These people come to Greece in hopes of a better life and end up trapped on an island.

Working with The Hope Project was an incredible experience. They mainly hire volunteers from the refugee community, and for the first week I was the only international volunteer. This gave me a unique opportunity to work with the refugees and to hear their stories. We would spend all day working side-by-side distributing clothes and supplies to families who had just arrived. The Hope Project also has an arts center where refugees can come draw and paint throughout the day. It provides an outlet and a way for them to express themselves. For many of them, sitting in the camp all day with their future in limbo can be soul-crushing, but The Hope Project has provided them with an escape. At the end of each day, I would sit in the arts center and watch people paint. The place is so calming and the art so powerful. Over the past four years, The Hope Project has evolved with the situation and is continuing to do so. They have plans to expand so that they can provide even more resources to the refugees on the island.

Throughout those two weeks, I heard again and again how The Hope Project was like a family to each and every person involved. I think this is what makes that group so special. The moment someone walks in they become a part of a larger community that supports one another no matter what. To see all these people from all different countries come together to make a difference, it is truly something special.

After spending some time in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia, I headed to Skopje, the capital. Skopje is such an interesting city. Around 2010, the government started building huge monuments throughout the city. Everywhere I looked I could see at least 5 statues. They even have the largest statue of Alexander the Great in the world. I also visited the Matka Canyon, where I went kayaking. After Macedonia, I headed to Thessaloniki, Greece, to catch my flight to Lesvos. Since I finished volunteering on Monday, I’ve been exploring Thessaloniki. I really like this city. It has a unique history and the influence of the Greeks, Romans, Sephardic Jews, and Ottomans has created a culturally diverse city. I also went hiking on Mount Olympus, which is about 50 miles from here and can be seen across the bay.

Giant Alexander the Great Statue Bridge in Skopje Kayaking in Matka Canyon Mytilene Port My favorite swimming spot on Lesvos Mount Olympus Mount Olympus Roman Forum in Thessaloniki Umbrellas of Thessaloniki