If you are in the northern hemisphere, it’s the time of year for the Perseid Meteor Showers.  I love to look out for the Perseids.  

The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus because it appears as if the meteor showers are coming from that direction.   The debris that makes up the meteors come from the Swift-Tuttle Comet.  The meteor showers can be seen from July to August, but in 2021 the peak time will be from August 11th to the 13th.  (This post is updated from an earlier post with new dates and updated links.)

Obviously, the best time to view the Perseids is during the darkest time of night. At its peak, you can see between 60 to 100 shooting stars in an hour.  While anytime after midnight is considered the best time, you can also see some of them earlier in the evening. The key to viewing them is finding an area with the least amount of ambient light and clear skies above you.

If skies are cloudy for you or you can’t find a good spot to watch, NASA has got you covered. You can watch the skies on social media with NASA.

The most interesting time that I watched them was on a vacation to Gettysburg, PA.  There is an Eternal Light Peace Memorial on Oak Hill in Gettysburg that was dedicated by FDR for the 75th anniversary of the battle.  While we were visiting, it was such a bright, sunny day that it was difficult to see the flame, so we decided to come back after it was dark.  When I stepped out of our van, I looked at the sky and saw a meteor, then my brother stepped out and saw one too, then my SIL did, my ex-husband did and the two children did.  

We continued watching, first sitting down on the sidewalk and the parking lot and finally laying back, with our heads in our hands, as we watched the light show above us.   Five minutes later, another car rolled into the parking area, my brother sat up to make sure none of us got run over and he (and we) must have freaked them out because the car sped away and we continued to watch mother nature’s light show.

What adds to the interest is that while you’re watching the sky so intently, you can also spot satellites, which you can do 45 minutes after sunset or before sunrise. If you go to the NASA spot the satellite website you can find the dates and times to watch the ISS or even the Starliner satellites.

Have you ever taken the time to watch the night sky?

If you are in the northern hemisphere, it's the time of year to watch the night skies for the Perseid Meteor Showers.  #perseids #perseidmeteorshowers #shootingstars