Everyone ready to go watch the Perseid meteor shower? According to EarthSky, the best times for viewing are predicted to be the mornings of August 12 and 13.
1. Try to find a place that is dark for best viewing. Porch and street lights can fade out the meteors.
2. Remind your children there may be several minutes between sightings. In the wee hours of the morning it can be hard to be patient.
3. Blankets and lawn chairs that allow for viewing in a prone position help prevent neck strain.
Here’s an informative video about last year’s shower:
As if National Chemistry Week wasn’t enough science this week, the Orionid Meteor Shower is also expected to peak on Wednesday, October 21. For more information, check The 2009 Orionid Meteor Shower page at NASA or keep an eye on SpaceWeather.com. If you have never watched a meteor shower, it is fantastic! Bundle up, find a nice dark place to observe the sky, and if possible, spread out on a lawn chair, the ground or the back of a pick-up truck with some blankets or sleeping bags. When the meteors are active it can be better than fireworks. No guarantees, though, so prime your children to be patient or also do the star count at the same time (see next).
If you and your family are interested in stars right now, it is also time for the Great Worldwide Star Count. This international event encourages everyone to go outside, look skywards after dark, count the stars they see in certain constellations and report what they see online between October 9 and 23, 2009.
Let’s hope for clear nights this week. Let me know what you see.