How to Get the Best View of This Year’s Perseid Meteor Shower

The event is more brilliant than usual.

By Michael MarksAugust 12, 2016 10:50 am

The annual Perseid meteor shower is on full display right now – the planet’s yearly journey through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. This year’s shower is said to be even more spectacular than usual. And as the song goes, the stars at night really are big and bright here, making Texas a great place to view the celestial event.

Ron Diiulio, director of the Astronomy Laboratory Program and planetarium at the University of North Texas, says that even the most casual of stargazers can catch a glimpse of the meteor shower.

“You don’t need a telescope, the only thing I would recommend would be to get yourself a nice comfortable lawn chair, a soft drink or some water,” Diiulio says.

Even without any special equipment, there are some steps you can take to get the best view possible. The peak will be late at night, but some meteors will be visible earlier in the evening as well for those who can’t be out as late.

“The best time to see it is after midnight, and so you’re looking at maybe about every 20 seconds, you’ll see one,” Diiulio says. “But all evening, even if you go out after dark, say 10 or 11 at night, you’ll still see maybe two every minute.”

Get out to a darker spot away from city lights, he says, then look skyward.

“You can go out about maybe 3 or 4 o’ clock in the morning, and go into a place where you can see the northeast sky,” he says.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Post by Alexandra Hart.