From ancient times, meteors provide a splendid opportunity for the norm human being to get a glimpse of the unspeakable beauty of Mother Nature. They can come several times within an hour, visible even to the naked human eye! Meteors can be seen for as small as a fraction of a second to several seconds at large. Sometimes meteor sightings become more frequent within an hour’s period, and this phenomenon is termed as a ‘meteor shower’ by astronomical experts. Whereas, a meteor that does not seem to fit in a shower, it is termed as a ‘sporadic’.
Meteor observation is one of the easiest methods of astronomy. How, you may ask, can one carry out meteor observation? Simply put, you can do it while lying down in the terrace with your friends or family! The occasional sighting of a shooting star counts too!
The art of meteor observation is very easy, if done correctly. Here are a few ways you can ‘Visually Observe’ meteors, which is spotting with the bare eye.
- Check out when the shower will be at its peak
Meteor showers occur over a time of several days, but it is the peak when the most meteors are easily seeable. The peak is the time when the earth is expected to meet the highest possible number of meteors from a specific stream. The peak times are easily available online.
However, be informed that the peak occurs at the same time for everyone on earth, and thus it is highly important for you to check out the time of the peak according to your own time zone.
Tip for consideration;
A meteor showers peak is just a prediction. Do not get disheartened if you do not see much.
- Stay away from illuminations:
Stay away from all light sources. Ensure your eyes are not exposed too much brightness and let them adapt to the dark. This is suggested as the eyes see much better if they are already improvised to adjust with the dim atmosphere. Plainly stated, the lesser lights around you mean there are more meteors for you to see.
Tip for consideration,
Drive away to a location with minimal lighting. It is easy.
- Get comfortable:
Get a comfortable sofa or a chair and wear warm clothes just in case if the night gets chilly. The last thing you want while observing is to get your attention diverted because of the unexpected cold. In addition, get this straight, because nights are surprisingly colder than the day, even in summers.
Tip for consideration,
Get a warm beverage. Eh, did not expect to find this here. Jokes apart, warm drinks are known to make your brain more alert.
Avoid cold drinks or alcohol, as they cool down the body and provoke tiredness.
- Bring along friends and family:
Spread out your chairs. Look at different directions. This way, you get more exposure towards the sky and a vast viewing spectrum, and one of you may call out ‘Meteor!’, provoking everyone to look.
Hope these tips increased your knowledge! Good luck and start observing!