When your dreams are in the stars, an evening with a meteor shower is your perfect night. So, what is a meteor and how do you make the most in viewing his heavenly phenomenon?
What Is A Meteor
A meteor is basically a space rock that is passing through Earth’s atmosphere which is often seen as a bright light in the night sky. What is happening is as it passes through, the rock becomes very hot and gases around it glow. It’s commonly called a shooting star. When there several meteors at once, you get a meteor shower. But, to go to this shower, you won’t need to bring a gift. Instead, pack a blanket.
Meteor showers often come from comets passing through the atmosphere, trailing dust and rocks. They are named for the constellations they appear to come from. These comets come at regular intervals, so with a little pre-planning you can create a super shower party.
How To Have a Shower Party
When you have identified which meteor shower you are going to enjoy, do a little research and find out which the range of dates the shower is expected to be seen in the sky. The Discovery Center of Idaho has some uber cool astronomy kits for some hands-on learning pre-meteor shower.
You will need a clear night with no moon or low-light moon. Clouds or a bright moon will obscure the meteors. Along the same lines, city lights will also make it tough to see these beautiful sky nuggets, so seek out dark areas of your community. Some of the best places are parks or clearings where you won’t have unexpected lights ruining your dark eyesight. Speaking of adjusted eyesight, give yourself plenty of time because it takes about 20 minutes for your eyes to be ready to see well in the dark.
And just like any party, you want to be comfortable, so bring chairs, blankets, bug spray, and whatever will keep you comfortable as the stars shoot above. Another helpful tool is a flashlight with a red-filter, so if you need to hunt for something in the dark, you won’t ruin your night vision. If you can, you will want to lay down and relax your eyes. If you can make a night of it, you are more likely to see a better show after midnight and in the hours before dawn.
What To See
Some specific things to look for when you are watching are:
Colors – some meteors produce colors like blue, green, or red.
Meteor train – this is a glow that stays in the air even after the meteor has faded.
Earthgrazers – these slow-moving meteors fly along the horizon and last longer. These are generally seen more in the evenings rather than the dawn hours.
No matter how many meteors you see, or what colors showed up, watching a meteor shower is a great way to spend time with family and friends appreciating a beautiful event happening far far away.
To learn more about meteors and other scientific wonders, plan a visit to the Discovery Center of Idaho. You are sure to become a star to your friends.