The Perseid Meteor Shower is due to peak Thursday evening. If you’ve never seen it, it’s pretty spectacular. Just head outside after dark (close to or after midnight is best) and look to the northeast (the location of the Constellation Perseus.) It will take your eyes a few minutes to adjust to the dark. Don’t use flashlights and try to stay away from white light altogether.
After your eyes have adjusted to the light, you’ll be treated to up to 80 meteors (sometimes called shooting stars) per hour.
Watching the meteor shower this year is going to be particularly great because the moon is just a sliver, and will actually have set by 9:00 or 10:00 PM. So, weather permitting, the skies are going to be perfect for watching the Perseids, no telescope required. Enjoy!
p.s. We have our resident astronomer and former Cub Master Bill Suriano to thank for this wonderful information and reminder. Here’s the full text of his email to me:
The Perseid Meteor shower peaks tomorrow night. There’s not much moon so we should be able to see the brightest meteorites even in our light polluted skies. There’s no need for a telescope. Just plunk yourself down and look up. The shower will seem to radiate from the constellation of Perseus in the northeast. There’ll be more activity after midnight. The weather report says the skies will be clear tomorrow night so the conditions are just about perfect. If you can get out of the Chicago area to darker skies, you’ll see way more.