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Friday, 12 August 2011

Star Gazing

This weekend sees the peak of 'The Perseids' which is an annual meteor shower that takes place every year. The Perseids is one of the most prominent meteor showers of the year and often between the dates of 12-13 of August you can see up to 60 shooting stars an hour. The event is truly spectacular and definitely should not be missed. The shooting stars are visible from ANYWHERE, although obviously a clear/non cloudy night away from a polluted sky would be best for views. The most prominent time to see them are in the early hours of the morning of the 12th of August. Here are some tips to viewing the Perseids -
  • Although you can see them from anywhere, to see the most you should be viewing under a clear sky away from lights. Spending the night somewhere camping out in the country will give you the best view
  • The Perseids tend to come from the direction of the constellation of 'Perseus' which is about halfway across the horizon and in the northeast quadrant of the sky
  • It is possible to watch the shower from your bedroom window but for best results dress up warm, get a blanket and lie outside. Ehow.com states 'recline with your feet facing due south and look straight up - they should appear from over/behind your left shoulder'
  • Do not focus your eyes onto one section of the sky, keep your eyes open and you'll find you can spot them from anywhere
  • Be patient! It's hard to lay and stare at the sky when you are not seeing anything, but once you spot your first shooting star you'll know it's possible and will be more patient
  • You can sometimes see up to two at a time trailing each other
  • Try downloading 'Google Sky Map' or a similar App and using that to search for 'Perseus'. If you enter the constellation into the search bar, your phone will display an arrow and will direct you to where you should be looking to see the shooting stars
  • Have fun! Bring a couple of friends, a flask of tea and have an out of this world evening beneath the stars. It truly is magical!

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