Wondering why everyone is suddenly buying telescopes and googling how to take the best sky photos? We’re here to fill you in. The Perseid meteor shower began on July 14th, and it’s caused a ton of hype in the stargazing community. Here’s everything you need to know to join the Perseid fan club for 2021:
What is the Perseid Meteor Shower?
For those of us that live in the Northern Hemisphere, Perseid is the annual stargazing event of the year, when Earth intersects the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle and the debris left behind by the comet enters our atmosphere. A meteor shower typically lights up the sky with streaks of light, and the Perseid meteor shower in particular is one of the best showers to watch out for.
Perseid is currently sending beams of light and colour through the night sky. As its meteors enter Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up before they reach the surface. When this happens sporadically, we call it a shooting star. But when a bunch of meteors are falling together, it’s known as a meteor shower. The Perseid meteor shower is all about quantity, and it’s a crowd-pleaser, especially in a good year.
Why the hype?
Although it happens yearly, this year is promising to be an especially amazing show for the Perseid meteor shower. The viewing conditions in 2021 are perfect for bright lights worth staying up for. The moon plays a big role in the viewing conditions as well, and since the moon won’t be as bright this year, it will make the meteors shine even more than usual.
Astrotourism at its finest
If you feel like everyone has been super focused on space lately, you’re not wrong. From billionaires blasting themselves into orbit, to stargazing trips, and even newly disclosed UFO files, everyone seems to be talking about what’s beyond our atmosphere.
Maybe after a year+ of being stuck inside, we’re all even more eager to explore our planet and beyond. And plus, looking up and wondering what’s out there sure does beat looking at our TV and wondering what else there is left to binge-watch…
How to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower
While the Perseid meteor shower has already started, it will be at its full peak on August 12. For the best shot at seeing it in its glory, the conditions have to be just right.
The biggest factor in a successful show is going somewhere with no light pollution. Not only do you need to give your eyes time to adjust, but you also want the sky to shine with as little interference from your surroundings as possible. The darker it is, the better, so grab a coffee and be prepared to stay up late for the best show possible.
Where to see the Perseid Meteor Shower
For the very best views, take yourself somewhere like a National Park, and avoid screen time leading up to the shower. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness and look straight up for the best chance at seeing as many meteors as you can.
Contiki’s Yellowstone & Grand Tetons trip in August is perfectly aligned to take advantage of the meteor shower. On this 4-day trip you camp right in Yellowstone National Park, and you’ll be there on the best days of the Perseids shower. Can you say fate?! Camping right in the park puts you in a fantastic location away from the ambient light of a city, to get the best views as the meteors rain down. Plus, you’ll be doing it Contiki-style, with your new squad of adventurers, and get to explore Grand Teton National Park as well.
Ready to go? Check out the Yellowstone & Grand Tetons trip for yourself, and scoop up that August 10-13 departure for the most epic Perseid meteor shower adventure ever!