Stargazers hoping to catch a glimpse of, and make a wish on, their own shooting star are in luck, as the annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks late this evening.
Although the so-called “shooting stars” will come into peak view early Saturday morning, some lucky viewers may have spotted meteors as early as last night.
Last year’s peak, which came on August 12, had a zenithal hourly rate of 142, meaning the number of meteors a viewer could see under perfect viewing conditions (clear, dark sky) would be 142. This year’s peak has an expected ZHR of 100.
Unfortunately, because this year’s peak also coincides with a full moon, the extra light being emitted is expected to mask many of the meteors.
Those looking to increase their chances of seeing the shower should head to an open field with very minimal light. City lights, and brighter areas make the meteors a lot more difficult to spot and will lessen your chances of getting to see the shower.
In Elkton, meet at the nature center’s North Appleton parking lot at 7:30 p.m. as the staff helps viewers identify stars and planets before watching the meteor shower.
In Woodstock, join Towson University astrophysics professor Dr. Alex Storrs and star expert Joel Goodman at the conservancy starting at 10 p.m. as they teach sky watchers about meteors, galaxies, constellations and more while watching the showers.
-Summer editorial intern Tyler Green wrote this piece.