The Shorebread team has been anxiously checking the weather this week, crossing fingers and toes for clear skies this weekend. On Friday, August 11th and Saturday, August 12th the Perseid Meteor Shower will be making its annual appearance as the Earth passes through the dust of Comet Swift-Tuttle. The meteors entering the atmosphere are only the size of a grain of sand, but they create a spectacular show. This meteor shower is one of the most popular, with about 80 meteors per hour.
For the best view of the meteor shower, we suggest heading somewhere dark with a big view of the night sky. Assateague Island National Seashore in Berlin is a great option with very few obstructions and dark skies. Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes also offers a nice vantage point. Pocomoke River State Park can also be a great place for night sky viewing, but choose your location in the park carefully to avoid heavily wooded areas.
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility will be hosting an event at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, August 12th. At 7:30pm, 8:00pm and 8:30pm there will be Astronomy 101 presentations at the Education Center Auditorium, rain or shine. From 8:30pm – 9:45pm there will be telescopes and binoculars for use on the beach near the north parking lot. The refuge will be closing at 10:00pm.
If you’re planning a trip the see the meteor shower, both Friday and Saturday night are about equally likely to see activity, as the peak is mid-day on Saturday. The sun will set around 8:00pm, and as twilight fades, stars and meteors will begin peeking into view. The moon will rise around 10:30pm on Friday, and 11:00pm on Saturday, making dimly lit meteors more difficult to see. You may also want to try out a night sky app on your phone to find the constellation Perseus. Meteors appear to radiate from that point in the sky, giving you an idea of which direction to face.
Grab a comfy seat, some snacks and a bit of bug spray to set the perfect atmosphere for spotting shooting stars!