PERSEID METEOR SHOWER STARTS TONIGHT
The Perseid meteor shower kicks off it’s annual show tonight and will dazzle us until the 13th. At its peak the sky will be ‘showered’ with 50 meteors per hour!
Want the best viewing? Time to get up early then! (or stay up late) – you can usually see this heavenly performance in the pre-dawn hours, when it’s still dark, though anytime between midnight and dawn will be good; especially this year.
2021 is actually going to work out perfectly for anyone who wants to see it because the moon phases have lined up just right, and there won’t be any moonlight to get in the way of the show.
Here’s some tips for the best viewing from the Old Farmer’s Almanac:
- Get away from light pollution! You’ll want to avoid city lights. Any hill out in the countryside works. Mountaintops are also great viewing locations because they are usually at a high enough altitude to reduce haze from air and light pollution. Plan a drive or a camping trip!
- Gaze at whatever part of the sky is darkest at your location. Though it might be tempting, avoid using binoculars or a telescope. It is better to look at the whole sky than a tiny part of it, and your eyes will automatically move toward any motion up above. Avoid looking at your cell phone or other lights during the meteor shower, as this will damage your night vision.
- While the shower is best when moonlight is absent, you can still watch for shooting stars if the Moon’s around. Just try to face away from the Moon when looking for meteors. Its light pollution will affect the whole sky, but it will be worse closer to the Moon.
- You’ll need about 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the darker skies, so get out earlier and be patient.
- Being comfortable is important. To avoid a stiff neck, bring a chaise lounge or reclining lawn chair. A sleeping bag on the ground works, too. Find a slight incline so that your head will be higher than your feet. Bring an extra layer of clothes if you’re worried about being cold; when you are sitting or lying outside at night, your body heat radiates directly into the sky.