Tips for viewing Meteor Showers:

You’ll enjoy it more if…

  1. Lie down, don’t crane your head up, you’ll get tired of doing that quickly. Lay on the ground, a picnic table, a reclining chair or a car hood (kids love that).
  2. The later the better; the darker the better; the longer you stay out the better – plan for at least one hour.
  3. This is a naked-eye event. You can wear clothes, but don’t put anything on your eyes like a telescope or binoculars. You’ll want to see as much of the sky as possible at once and these instruments will narrow your vision.
  4. Keep your expectations low. Don’t expect to see the sky full of meteors all the time, but you will see some, and when you do it will be great.
  5. Young children will not be patient enough to enjoy this, and they’ll probably prevent you from enjoying it. We’ve all been there.

We offer a free mini-lesson on Meteor Showers. Just email us and request it: Tony.Ceraso@HomeSchoolAstronomy.com 

April 23 – Lyrids Meteor Shower 

An average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust the shower runs from April 16-25. It peaks this year on the night of the morning of the 23rd. Unfortunately, the moon will be out and will obscure all but the brightest. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. Best viewing will be from a dark location 3 a.m. till dawn. Lie down and look straight up.

May 5 – Eta Aquarids

The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 20 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley, which has known and observed since ancient times. It peaks this year on the morning of the May 5. Best viewing will be from a dark location 3 a.m. till dawn. Lie down and look straight up.

July 28, 29 – Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower

The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. It peaks this year on the night of July 28 and morning of July 29. The nearly full moon will be a problem this year, blocking out all but the brightest meteors. But if you are patient, you should still be able to catch a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Lie down and look straight up.

August 12, 13 – Perseids Meteor Shower. 

The Perseids is one of the best! Up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are famous for producing many bright meteors. It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Lie down and look straight up.

October 21, 22 – Orionids Meteor Shower

The Orionids is an average shower producing up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It peaks this year on the night of October 21 and the morning of October 22. The nearly full moon will block some of the fainter meteors this year, but the Orionids tend to be fairly bright, so it could still be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Lie down and look straight up.

December 13, 14 – Geminids Meteor Shower – The King of Meteor Showers!

It produces up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Lie down and look straight up.