BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — There’s a great chance to see shooting stars this week in Alabama.
This week, clear weather conditions along with minimal lunar light combine to give us optimal viewing of the Perseid meteor shower.
Starting after midnight tonight through Friday morning, you will have a chance to see hundreds of shooting stars. This event will be best viewed after moonset until dawn, which is about 6 a.m. According to NASA, Thursday morning between midnight to 6 AM will likely present the most frequent meteors. During this time, you could see up to 60 meteors, or shooting stars, per hour.
The Perseid meteor shower is an annual event, but not all viewing conditions are created equal. The last couple of years, between full, bright moons and overcast weather conditions, viewing has been limited.
How and when to watch:
1. As with any nighttime celestial event, the farther you are away from light pollution (aka: city lights) the better.
2. The waxing crescent moon sets around 10 PM which means a dark, Moonless sky until dawn. Set the alarm to wake up or stay up late for this one.
3. Look for the constellation Perseus over the northeast horizon
4. You need no additional equipment, just your eyes. Leave the binoculars and telescope, these show far too small an area to see the fast-moving meteors.
5. Lastly, relax, get comfy and be patient. Let your eyes adapt to the darkness, and wait.