Menachem Kahane/AFP via Getty Images
Watch out for shooting stars on your way in the next few weeks.
The most famous meteor showers, known as the Perseids, are about to reach their peak – with up to 100 meteors per hour.
Perseids are annuals and are active between July and September. The warm summer weather makes it easy to get outside to watch, NASA Notes.
It will peak on August 13 and will be most visible in the northern hemisphere in the pre-dawn hours, but can be seen as early as 10 p.m. A bright, full moon will appear while showering, which may affect visibility.
This meteor shower is known as what scientists call fireballs, which NASA describes as “larger bursts of light and color that can last longer than the average meteor streak.”
Here’s how to view meteor showers from wherever you look on Earth.
Collect all the details of the specific meteor shower
If you watch a meteor shower, you’ll want to make sure you know its peak time, radiation point, and moon phase, according to EarthSky. Otherwise, you may not get the same amount of time you spend outdoors.
The meteor shower estimate will always appear in UTC, which means UTC.
You can convert Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to your time zone by following the steps from EarthSky over here.
The radioactive dot is not necessary to see the meteor shower, although it can enhance your vision. This is the point in the sky where “the shower of meteors seems to be advancing.” NASA notes.
Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images
EarthSky says meteor showers are visible even before their radiation reaches the sky.
Knowing the number of meteors in the shower per hour, she says, will also give you a clearer sense of how often they appear.
The phase of the moon also affects visibility – a bright moon can severely reduce how well a shower can see.
Know where to go
Light pollution – an excess of artificial lights in major cities and other industrial areas – impedes the visibility of meteor showers.
To make the most of your viewing experience, try to find a darkly lit spot away from the city lights. The darker your surroundings, the more visible meteor showers will be.
Find a comfortable place
When watching a meteor shower, you’ll want to make sure you’re in a comfortable position with well-adjusted eyes.
NASA says that within about 30 minutes, your eyes can adjust to the darkness, making showers more visible.
Bring a blanket, a lawn chair, a sleeping bag, and warm clothes (for cooler temperatures at night) – anything that can enhance your viewing experience and keep you warm in the late hours of the night and early morning.
Now, relax and have fun. No telescopes or binoculars required.
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