The Best Summer Meteor Shower

Every year the summer night sky is lit up by the Perseid meteor shower. For this year, the peak is Aug 11-13th. If you can’t make those days, that’s OK, both weekends surrounding it will be good for viewing, especially the weekend after. The reason it is the best, well, there’s several reasons:

1. It’s warm. Most of the other meteor showers we get in Arkansas are in cold months. So that’s a big bonus.

2. The Perseids are BRIGHT. Compared to your standard shooting-star, these are more like lasers across the sky. Not all of them, but some. You’ll know when you see them.

Multiple days. You have a good week of viewing. So, you don’t have to plan as much.

4. It’s family fun. Take the kids out and let them stay up a little late to watch. Trust me, when they see one of those bright streakers light up the sky, they’ll love it. I think it’s hard to get kids excited about anything that doesn’t involve their phones, so this is a perfect opportunity.

5. It’s 100% FREE.

Science Rules.

Look UP!

Alright now let’s talk about how to see them. Get out of the city lights if you can. Google a light pollution map. Find a place that has the least amount of light pollution that is closest to you. Find an opening like a field or a mountain top – two things Arkansas has plenty of. Many of your backyards will do just fine. A couple of hours after the sun has went down is the best. If you can stay up after midnight, or watch before dawn, those are the best viewing times.

Now – Just look up. They appear to be coming from the Perseus constellation (hence the name Perseid). Use an app like Sky View, it’s free. You don’t have to have knowledge of where the constellation is, it just helps. The meteors will be all across the sky. The moon will be out and be bright enough to cause some light pollution, to if you can shadow it with and umbrella, or structure, it will help you see more meteors.

Patience. Have some. Look, I am not saying that they’ll be 1000’s of bright shooting stars. I am saying you’ll get to see a few very bright streaks along with smaller shooting stars. As it approaches the peak, you’ll see more meteors per hour.


Bug spray, adult beverages, snacks, and something to lay out on. Also, this is a great date night idea. Don’t even tell your person what you’re up to. Surprise them. Plan it out. Also, bring some binoculars if you can. Check the stargazing app out… find Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus.

Y’all have at it and GET OUT AN EXPLORE!

The Arkansas To Do Team,

Phil and Jess

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