Tuesday, August 09, 2022

answered meteor questions

Received a public query to the RASC national Observing Chair address about the Perseid meteor shower.

I tried to reply as best as possible...


Meteor observing in general is easy to do.

From a comfortable reclining chair or from a picnic blanket on the ground, observe the whole sky. Some believe you should stare at the origin or source of the meteor shower but it is better to view at a 90 degree angle or more. So don't look directly at the constellation Perseus. Look west or south-east.

Meteor showers are often better after midnight so if you can stay up later, it's good to start viewing at 11:00 PM for a couple of hours or longer. 

Perseus rises in the north-east at midnight.

Unfortunately, the Moon phase is nearly full right now! It will be a full Moon on the 11th with the Perseid meteor shower peak on the 12th-13th. The bright Moon, and the brightened sky, will wash out many of the meteors. While the Perseids can produce over 100 meteors per hour, the fainter ones will be invisible. But hopefully some bright ones will punch through the bright sky.

If there is ANY cloud, the moonlight will illuminate the clouds and further reduce visibility.

I don't want to dash your hopes but this year is not ideal. But give it a try and plan for an even better showing in 2023.

Good luck!


They asked about "booking" the Morgan Arboretum. I wasn't sure where they were talking about. Perhaps the reserve in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue? I said I didn't know the procedures for the location. I didn't know if it was open to the public for evening use.


Visit the IMO or AMS for detailed information, such as peak times.

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