This weekend is a good time to catch the annual summer light show known as the Perseid meteor shower.
Some 60 to 100 meteors — better known as shooting stars — can be seen per hour as the Earth encounters the gritty debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the icy parent of the Perseid meteor shower. The shower begins to peak on Friday, and the busiest stretch and the best viewing, according to NASA, will be from midnight Sunday through the predawn hours of Monday.
The dust and debris are traveling quickly, at around 37 miles per second. The meteor shower occurs every year when Earth moves through the trail of its orbit.
You can still see meteors before and after the Perseid shower’s peak, and you don’t need special equipment.
Set up a lawn chair or a blanket, and don’t forget the insect repellent. Look up and try to stay awake. The meteors will appear to originate in the northeast sky.
If you want a better view by getting away from light pollution, there will be a Night Walk 8-10 p.m. Saturday at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell, where it’s $3 per vehicle. (352) 793-4781.
Or you can go Stargazing in the Park with the Pasco Astronomers group, who will provide telescopes for viewing. 8-10 p.m. Saturday at J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park, 10500 Wilderness Park Blvd., New Port Richey. Free. (727) 255-3083.
Also, the Withlacoochee River Park in Dade City is considered a dark sky site and has camping options. You can make reservations at pascocountyfl.net or call (352) 567-0264.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.