Why We Wish On Shooting Stars And Why You Might Want To Stop
I have done it. I imagine at sometime in your life you have done it too. You see a flash of light across a star filled sky and instantly you make your wish. I think wishing on stars and shooting stars in particular is just ingrained into our culture. It's one of those things that we just do when we have the chance. It's kind of like the celestial return of the McRib. You never know when you'll see it again so you go for it.
The idea of shooting stars bringing the people on Earth started back in the ancient times. It is suggested that Ptolemy the Greek philosopher explained the shooting stars this way. He told his students that occasionally the gods liked to peak down on Earth and see what we the people were up to. When they opened a crack between heaven and Earth every now and then a star would fall through.
It stands to reason that if the gods were already looking down on you at the time the star fell that time would be a great time to ask for good favor or good luck. It's like catching the eye of your waiter while he's working another table. You know it will be a minute but eventually you'll get that tea glass refilled.
Shooting stars in the world of science have very little to do with hopes, dreams, and wishes. They are more like piece of rock that are burning up in the atmosphere of our planet and wishing on the makes about as much sense as asking an elected official do their job. Something good might happen but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Another theory about shooting stars is they are jettisoned waste parcels from spacecrafts. Yeah you could have just poured out your heart and soul on a flaming poop bag from the International Space Station. It does take the fantasy right out of the process if you think about it.