Every August, the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks, creating a beautiful light show zooming across the night sky. In 2022, the Perseid Meteor Shower happened on the same night as the Full Sturgeon Moon, making the light display less than ideal.
In 2023, the Ozarks will have to contend with cloud coverage.
If you’re looking for a place to see the meteor shower, Mike Reed, Professor of Astrophysics at Missouri State University, has one recommendation, “there really is no great place, just get away from the city lights.”
Reed also says the Perseid Meteor Shower is the best for beginners, “this has the benefit of being one with more. It also is a benefit that it’s in the summer so people can get outside.”
If you want to go stargazing but feel unprepared, Reed says being a novice is perfectly fine,
“You absolutely do not want a telescope. You want to see as much of the sky as you possibly can. They can be in any direction.”
What is the Perseid Meteor Shower? The Perseids happen when the earth passes through space debris. The bits of ice and rock were left behind from the passing of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which last passed near the Earth in 1992.
When will I see the most meteors? The earth will travel through the densest area of space dirt on August 12-13, 2023. Every year the Perseids are visible from mid-July through late August. At their maximum strength, you can expect to see 50-75 “shooting stars” dart across the night sky. For those in the Ozarks, Reed suggests going out around 4 a.m., “you are much better off if you go out at 4 or 5 a,m. At nighttime, you are on the backside of Earth’s travel. In the morning you are on the forward traveling side of the earth, at that time meteors are passing us.”
Where will the meteor shower be the most visible? To find the best view of the meteor shower, head to the country! Light pollution from local cities and towns will make viewing more difficult. In the Ozarks, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will be hosting a star party on Saturday, August 12, 2023, from 8-10:30 p.m. Events will be available for the whole family.
If you would like to know more about the Perseid Meteor Shower, you can catch Mike Reed’s recent podcast on KSMU – Astro Brief – Astro Brief: Perseid Meteor Shower (ksmu.org).