Tips for viewing Meteor Showers:
You’ll enjoy it more if…
- 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).
- The later the better; the darker the better; the longer you stay out the better – plan for at least one hour.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
You may download this guide as a PDF from here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jQFDsD8sbgEmSyNespRzkrEKf1hcDQs7/view?usp=sharing
April 15th – 25th Peak – April 22nd – Lyrid Meteor Shower
This meteor shower does not produce more than 15 meteors an hour BUT the shower lasts for so many nights that you should keep your eyes up whenever you are outside. Another reason they are worth checking out is on rare occasions they have stormed at over 100 meteors an hour.
*August 11, 12, 13 – Perseids Meteor Shower (DON’T MISS THIS)
The Perseids is one of the best! This shower is in warm weather and usually produces 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 11-12. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Lie down and look straight up.
October 21 – Orionids Meteor Shower
The Orionids is an average shower producing up to 10-20 meteors per hour at its peak but is hampered this year by the light of a full moon. Orionids tend to be fairly bright and are known for leaving trails. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Lie down and look straight up.
November 17 – Leonid Meteor Shower
This meteor shower usually doesn’t produce more than 15 meteors and hour BUT this shower has produced the greatest number of meteor storms in recorded history so it’s worth keeping vigilant. In 1996 it rained down thousands of meteors per minute for 15 minutes, and in 1966 the storm of meteors plunged down towards the earth with such fury that those witnesses say they could feel the reality of the earth hurtling through space through the debris of rocks.
*December 13, 14 – Geminids Meteor Shower – The King of Meteor Showers! (DON’T MISS THIS)
It produces from 50 to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. These meteors are debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon. The moon will interfere with viewing some until it sets in the wee hours of the morning, however these meteors are very bright and many will be visible even with the moon trying to steal the show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Lie down and look straight up.