All you have to do to watch the pigeons is set up a chair in an open area and look up at the sky.
There will also be a Saturday night viewing party at Big Field in Dix Park from 9pm-11pm.
Staff and volunteers from the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and the Raleigh Astronomy Club will be at the observation party. They’ll have telescopes so you can get a close-up look at meteors, double stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.
Even the most active showers like the Perseids vary from year to year, but 2023 looks to be especially good because the Moon stays below the horizon until about 3 a.m. Even during those hours before sunrise, when most meteors are usually seen, only 10% The waning crescent will reflect sunlight.
More meteors can be seen during the hours before sunrise because this is when the Earth turns into a stream of dust and debris that produces meteors. For the Perseids, this was Comet Swift-Tuttle, which last passed our area in 1992.
The radiant, or the point in the sky from which meteors appear to be coming, is also the highest point in the sky after midnight, which means fewer meteors are hiding below the horizon.
But the hours after sunset, which starts around 10 p.m. can also be good. This is when the Earth Shepherds are most visible. These are meteors that hit the top of the atmosphere at a very sharp angle, which results in very bright, very steady trails that can last several seconds.
Meteor watching tips
- The darker the sky, the more meteors you will see. If you can’t get to a rural location, find the darkest part of the sky below. Meteors can appear anywhere.
- Take your time and enjoy the night sky. The more time you spend outside looking, the more meteors you will see. Sometimes several meteors may appear at once, and sometimes they are more spread out. Give your eyes about 15 minutes to adjust to the dark, and you’ll be amazed at how much you can see.
- Leave your phone inside. Every time you look at a light, the 15-minute timer starts over.
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