Are you ready for a celestial show?
The Perseids are a reliable-but-impressive meteor shower that happens every year in July and August. It’s a mesmerizing display for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere and it happens at the perfect time of year.
If the weather is clear enough, you can expect to see double-digit meteors blazing through the sky, like natural fireworks without the loud booms. The meteors are tiny specks of ice and dust that come from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids appear when the Earth collides with the particles from the tail of the comet.
According to the American Meteor Society, there are a few suggestions that will help you snag a glimpse of this celestial phenomenon. To view the Perseids successfully, it is suggested you watch from a safe rural area that is as dark as possible.
The further away from the light pollution you are, the better chance you’ll have at seeing some meteors and stars in general. But even if the best you can do is your own backyard, you should still be able to see quite a few meteors.
If you’re looking to make a whole night out of it, you can head down to the John Glenn Astronomy Park in Hocking Hills. They will be hosting a special Perseid program at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 11 and you can remain at the park after to view the meteor shower. Visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair.
The peak of the shower will occur around 11 p.m. on Saturday, August 12 leading into Sunday, August 13.
The Perseid meteors can be seen in all portions of the sky, so you don’t need to be looking a certain direction, however, it is recommended that you avoid looking straight up. Most meteor activity is visible at lower elevations, which means you can look about halfway up in the night sky.
You’ll have to stay up pretty late to catch a glimpse of the meteors, with the best viewing times happening after 11 p.m. Considering we are just entering a new moon phase, the conditions will be excellent for viewing the meteor shower, provided that the weather cooperates.
Don’t forget to make a wish or two! Can’t hurt, right?
Featured image via John Glenn Astronomy Park Facebook.