From time immemorial, the study of stars and the mystery behind shooting stars; what causes them, the types and a host of other questions has been a source of wonder and fascination in the world. This has led to lots of people being actively involved in meteor observing.
There are steps and/or processes to follow to get the most amazing experience in observing stars especially for an amateur. They are further explained in the bulleted points below:
- Timing: You cannot wake up early in the morning and set out for a meteor watch. To get the best results and for accurate analysis, expert meteorologists have expressed their opinions that it should be carried out between midnight and dawn, preferably, from 12 am to 4 am. Also important to note, is the season of the year for meteor observation. It is better observed during hot, humid or warm seasons.
- Observation Spot: The spot for meteor observation is extremely important. You cannot observe in an environment full of light. You cannot carry out your analysis with white light clouding your vision. Viewing stars should only be carried out in a dark or naturally lit setting. It is better to for you to do so in an elevated position. You can carry it out from the rooftop, a high-rise building or climb a mountain for the best results. Doing this might also cause interest in other works of nature. You never know what you might notice!
- Equipment: Since you are probably going to an unfamiliar territory and embarking in a new phase because of curiosity, it is better to go with all things that you need. It is better to get it right at once to avoid frustrations and discouragement. The following should accompany you on every meteor observation:
-Map of stars: This will give you an idea of what to look. You sure do not want to mistake lightening for a shooting star!
-Functioning lamp: You have to see what is going on in your environment. Make sure you get a lamp with red light as white light will mar your vision. You might not get the results you were looking for in the first place.
-Batteries: You most definitely need this. If you want to have a great experience while observing stars, you will need your flashlight on at all time. Obviously, most flashlights do not last long. Hence, it is advisable to carry extra batteries to make your adventure worth it.
-Book for recording
- Endurance: Meteor observing takes patience. You might go out one day expecting to be fascinated but you come back disappointed. Do not give up! You need to endure the process to be able to enjoy the fruits of your hard labour and work. You will most certainly get the best results.
Meteor observing does take a while. Some get lucky their first time trying while for other, it may take them time. Once experienced, you will be spellbound!