Did you know that the period that comes between mid-July to mid-August is the best time for spotting meteor showers? A crisp, clear night away from the pollution and city lights is perfect for stargazing… so definitely something to try if you’re camping! Grab a few blankets, warm up and stay awake with a cup of Smoky tea, and stare into the sky as humans have done since antiquity, fascinated by infinite spaces and the mysterious gleam of stars and planets.
But why this time of the year? It’s not because of the chances of having a clear sky are greater, but because there will be two different phenomena reaching their peak!
The Delta Aquarids will be visible in late July, an hour or two before dawn. The weekend of the 27th of July could be an interesting one to plan a road trip out of the city centre, as the moon will start waning from the 26th. A sky with little light makes it easier to concentrate on the stars. There’ll be new moon on Thursday the 2nd of August too.
The Perseids seem to appear from the constellation Perseus, named after the Greek hero who killed Medusa, the monster. You might also know them as the Tears of St. Lawrence: they always appear around the date of the saint’s martyrdom, on the 10th of August (Friday this year!) If the night is clear and the sky is dark, you can count up to 50 or more meteors in an hour.
We love this original photograph by Victoria – Inmost Light.
It’s taken with a vintage film camera and you can find it on Etsy !