Another Reminder, Go See the Perseids

My favourite meteor show is less than 2 weeks away now, so I wanted to give you all another gentle reminder to get organized and make sure that you’re able to enjoy the Perseid meteors this year – the shower will be peaking on the night of August 12, and into the next morning. It’s going to be a special event because the shower coincides with a new moon. The sky will be at its darkest, and the meteors will be at their brightest.

The shower gets its name because they will appear to originate from the constellation of Perseus. Don’t worry about finding the constellation, though, just lay on your back and stare up, you’ll see them.

On the evening of August 12, the first thing you’ll want to do is head outside shortly after sunset. If you’re lucky, you’ll see “earthgrazers”. These are some of the most beautiful meteors that you’ll see in the whole evening. Then settle down, find some satellites, and wait for the show to really get going. It you’ve got the stamina, the best viewing will happen in the early dawn hours of Monday, August 13th. At that point, you could be seeing a few dozen every hour.

To really get the best experience out of this, travel away from the lights of the city. Here in Vancouver, we need to get about 50 km away to start seeing the Milky Way above our heads. We’ve got a dark sky park in a suburb called Abbotsford that’s perfect.

So get organized. Book the evening with your friends, map out where you’re going to go. Bring hot drinks, warm clothes, and a comfortable place to sit back and enjoy the show.

And if you’re interested, Pamela and I recorded an episode of Astronomy Cast dealing with meteors and meteor showers, so you can listen in the car before you reach your viewing spot.

Enjoy, and let me know how it goes.