“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”-Stephen Hawking
Laying down and looking at the stars is a good relaxation technique when stressed. I have never been much of a stargazer but lately I have been spending some time looking up and marveling at nature. To be able to see something that takes millions of years to reach us is a miracle.
Watch for the Outburst!
Calling all night owls and stargazers, tonight is for you. A Perseid meteor shower will be illuminating the summer skies from August 11th to the 13th as Earth ventures into the debris left behind from an ancient comet. The shower is called the Perseid because many of the shooting stars appear to originate in the northeastern sky near the constellation named after the warrior Perseus, celebrated in Greek mythology for slaying the snake-headed Medusa. This annual event happens at the height of summer and will have some of the brightest shooting stars and is the year’s most anticipated meteor shower of up to 100 meteors per hour. According to NASA, this month’s celestial event, called an outburst, may be even more special than usual because of an increased rate of meteors with almost double the size of 160 to 200 meteors per hour. The last time there was a Perseid meteor shower this spectacular was in 2009. Come join me for this celestial fireworks show.
Here is the How, Where and When to the Perseid Meteor Shower
The best time to watch is tonight from midnight to dawn on August 12th. Thou tomorrow and this weekend will be great too. You should be able to see even in the city but head to a park or rural area for a better view. A great resource to find the darkest place within driving distance is DarkSiteFinder or the app, Google Sky. I’m packing up my dog and heading to a park near me and hoping for the best. It is too hard to see anything from my backyard because all my neighbors have security lights or motion detector lights. I was only able to see the moon last night.
Here is some more tips :
- Take a late afternoon nap.
- Pack a blanket, pillow, and dress according to your local temperature.
- Be patient it will take 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.
- Lie on your back and take in as much as the sky as possible.
- I plan on setting up my camera on a tripod to capture the showers for a time lapse video.
- In the Detroit area where I live, it is best to look to the northeast.
- Most important, plan on some caffeine to stay awake for the all night show.
- Plug into my Spotify playlist, Celestial Fireworks, for some stargazing music and enjoy!
Come on let your colors burst
The weather cast for my area is not great tonight with partly cloudy to cloudy. I am hoping for no rain if possible. If you are not able to see the Perseid meteor shower because of the weather or visibility, you can watch a live stream from NASA at Upstream. They will begin streaming at 10 PM EST. Another website with a live stream is Space.com which begins at 8 PM EST.
The next outburst is not likely to happen again until 2027. So do not let this spectacular event pass you by.