MOOSE, Wyo. — Forecast to put on a spectacular show, the Perseid meteor shower begins tonight across the Western U.S.
While the highly anticipated celestial event will send shooting stars across the sky throughout the entire month, they are expected to peak today, tomorrow and Friday.
This morning, Grand Teton National park released the following tips to experience the best meteor shower of the year:
- Set your alarm clock. The early morning hours are when the most meteors will by flying through the atmosphere and the moon is below the horizon (moon sets at 10:32 p.m., 10:55 p.m., and 11:20 p.m., on Aug. 11, 12, and 13, respectively).
- No equipment is necessary. All you need is yourself—no binoculars, astronomical knowledge, or special equipment–just let your eyes adjust to the darkness for about 20 minutes.
- Find a dark, wide-open sky. Find a dark place (like Grand Teton) and a wide-open area without any obstacles (i.e. trees) or lights for the best view! You may be able to see up to 50-100 meteors per hour during peak times.
- Make yourself comfy. The longer you stay out, the more you’ll see—so you might as well be comfortable! Bring blankets, chairs, hot cocoa, etc. to maximize your enjoyment.
- Stay safe out there. Bring a friend, tell someone where you’re going, and take a red light so your eyes can adjust but you don’t trip finding your way to the perfect spot. If you’re in bear country, don’t forget your bear spray!
- Shake off expectations. Meteors are a part of nature; their frequency can be unpredictable and so is the visibility of the night sky (cloud, smoke, light pollution, etc.) The best you can do is plan ahead and think clearing thoughts! Check the Fire and Smoke Map for air quality conditions, especially if you are in the Western U.S.
Meanwhile, outside of the park, light pollution may be an issue for those looking to view the show.
Tonight, Wyoming Stargazers is asking Jackson to turn off its lights for one hour – from 10:30-11:30 p.m. — and look up at the sky. The Perseid Meteor Shower should be at its peak right around then, said Samuel Singer, executive director of Wyoming Stargazers. He and the Stargazers will be on the Center lawn to observe it, and the public is invited to watch with them. And there will be no moon in the sky, which makes viewing opportunities even better.