If you’ve never seen a shooting star, tonight may be your lucky night.
The annual Perseid Meteor Shower has arrived, and NASA expects it to be one of the best potential meteor viewing opportunities this year.
According to NASA’s website, “The Perseids show up every year in August when Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet, This year, Earth may be in for a closer encounter than usual with the comet trails that result in meteor shower, setting the stage for a spectacular display.”
The display is very weather dependent, as views may be hindered by cloudy skies. Here in the 6ix, the Weather Network is predicting a risk of a thunderstorm tonight, so just be cautious of weather conditions prior to departure.
In order to help you plan better, here are five tips on watching the Perseids tonight (and Friday) in Toronto.
NASA suggests going to watch the spectacle between midnight and dawn on the morning of August 12. It also recommends about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to darkness.
Darkness is required for optimal viewing, which is pretty tough in the city. But try one of the local parks, such as High Park. Your rooftop may not be the best solution, especially if you’re downtown Toronto (It’s called light pollution and you need to go as far away from it as possible.)
It might rain. And you might be there for a while. Keep that in mind when heading out. Bring water, snacks, blankets, and an umbrella – just in case. Most importantly, be comfortable. This may not be an appropriate time for a dress and heels – for you Tinder dates.
Join an organized event
A few viewing parties are being held in and around Toronto, such as Richmond Hill’s David Dunlap Observatory, but sadly most are sold-out or at capacity. Try one of the free, local gatherings instead.
What to look for
If you’ve ever spotted a shooting star, that’s what you’re looking for. While some may expect a hundred meteors an hour, it is actually more like 10. Be patient, look up, and watch for those lines across the skies.
And if it’s cloudy or thunderstorms, or you’d rather your Tinder date be indoors, NASA has kindly set up a live broadcast of the shower beginning overnight on August 11-12 and August 12-13 at 10 pm ET.