Even though there are many meteor showers each year, the Perseids holds the crown as the best of them all. And its most spectacular nights are approaching fast, with the peak in mid-August. In fact, the meteor shower has already started a few days ago, and during the peak, it will boast as many as 100 meteors per hour. So, if you’re an astronomy photographer or enthusiast, here are some tips to prepare for this celestial event.
The Perseids meteor shower
According to the American Meteor Society, the Perseids meteor shower remains active from July 14 all the way to September 1. This year, it’s projected to peak on the night between 12 and 13 August. Given the ideal conditions – minimal light pollution, clear skies, and a waxing crescent moon— you’re up for a breathtaking show!
How to best enjoy the show?
To enjoy the Perseids in all its glory, you might have to wake up really early or pull an all-nighter. In the Northern Hemisphere, the shower is best viewed during the pre-dawn hours. However, you may sometimes start spotting meteors from the Perseids as early as 10 p.m. So, the ideal strategy seems to set everything up in the evening and observe the sky all night.
Of course, you’ll want to find a place as far away from the city lights as possible. As we all know, light pollution affects not only the view of the night sky but the photos as well. So, whether you’re shooting or just observing, go someplace dark. This map will help you find the best location.
The excellent news for this year’s event is that the moonlight won’t interfere with your perfect view. At the peak dawn of the meteor shower, the moon will be only 10% full, according to the American Meteor Society. So, our satellite will cooperate and it won’t give you any additional light pollution.
Another thing to consider is the weather. Sadly, we can’t affect that or change it, but we can track it. Use weather apps to choose a clear night, and don’t worry even if it’s cloudy on August 12. The Perseids will still be quite powerful several days before and after the peak.
So, you have around three weeks to get ready for the big day. As always, I’ll leave you with some tips and some apps I use when I want to observe the sky, and I hope they’ll come in handy. Enjoy the show!