Viewing Tips for the Perseid Meteor Shower

George Varros shot this amazing photo during the Perseid Meteor shower, in Mount Airy, Maryland, on Aug. 12, 2006.

The 2007 Perseid meteor shower will peak this Sunday night, August 12. Depending on light and weather conditions, you should be able to see 90-100 meteors per hour during the late hours of the night. This year’s Perseids coinciding with the new moon should yield especially spectacular results.

“It’s going to be a great show,” said Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. “The Moon is new on August 12, which means no moonlight, dark skies and plenty of meteors.”

Here are some suggestions from Space.com for best viewing:

  1. Find a comfortable spot with a clear view of the northeast horizon, away from local lights. A dark rural location is best.
  2. Lie back on a blanket or lounge chair and scan the entire sky. In the late evening, starting around 9 p.m. local time, sharp-eyed observers might see “earthgrazing” meteors that skim the northeast horizon.
  3. Later and during the overnight hours, the shooting stars will be higher in the sky as Perseus rises.
  4. Telescopes and binoculars are no help, as the meteors move too swiftly and are best observed with the naked eye.

Of additional interest:

4 Comments

  1. Ray Fowler says:

    So, did anyone watch the meteor shower last night? We sat out on the back deck as a family until the clouds started rolling in. We saw some beautiful ones between 10 and 11 p.m.

  2. Jeff says:

    Ahh Ray, seems to me you are treading in Ray Sr’s area here! LOL

  3. Ray Fowler says:

    Who do you think I learned this stuff from? 🙂

  4. Margaret says:

    We waited until 10:00 before skies cleared and then headed out to the 2nd Conn. Lake in Pittsburg, NH. We parked the car near the beach and hopped up on the hood of the car with our backs against the windshield and saw some great Perseids. Last time that we did this was years ago when we vacationed here in August. However, we parked in a field across the street from a house. The owner called the sheriff who asked what we were doing sitting on the hood of our car. We had to explain about the meteor shower. He said that the owner of the house thought we were going to rob him!This is why we chose the 2nd. Conn. Lake this time!

    Mum and Dad Fowler

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