The forecast for Saturday night is mostly cloudy but Sunday night should be nice and clear — great weather for viewing the Perseids meteor shower!
The best time for viewing is between midnight and dawn Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting, of course). Good local sites for viewing might include:
- Watchung Reservation
- Echo Lake Park
(Do you know of a great location? Share it in the comments section below!)
The Perseids are a meteor shower visible when the Earth passes through the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet. The meteor shower has been visible for about 2,000 years. The Swift-Tuttle comet orbits once every 133 years, according to NASA.
“The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere,” according to a 2011 NASA release. “Those with sharp eyes will see that the meteors appear to radiate from the direction of the constellation Perseus.”
At its peak, the Perseids meteor shower could display up to 40 meteors per hour in the pre-dawn hours Sunday. The American Meteor Society recommends viewing this meteor shower between midnight and dawn Saturday and Sunday.
Get as far away from city and other artificial lights as possible. Meteor showers are best viewed in really dark skies. Try to keep the moon out of your field of vision, too.
Be patient. It may take your eyes a few minutes to adjust to the light and see the meteors.
You don’t need binoculars or a telescope – that will only limit the amount of sky you can see. So, you don't need to worry about getting to the in Cranford — although it's a great place to visit!