A guide to seeing a shooting star

How To Spot A Shooting Star

Astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi, author of “A Quantum Life: My Incredible Journey From the Streets to the Stars,” adds, “It’s just a question of looking at the sky.” “Do you notice it?” says the narrator. You don’t need any special equipment; the naked eye will suffice.

“Any technical device you utilize will usually limit your field of vision,” Oluseyi says. Get away from the city’s light – “the darker the better,” he advises – and seek out a location with the most visible sky, such as the mountains or the desert. Close your eyes for a few minutes to help them adjust to the darkness faster. “If you’re going to have lights, they should be red lights,” Oluseyi advises.

Shooting stars are fragments of comets and asteroids that can be observed all year. However, when the earth passes through debris fields around the same time each year, many more shooting stars are seen. “These are what we call meteor showers,” Oluseyi explains. In August and November, the Perseids and Leonids are the most reliable.

They’re as predictable as Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser, he claims. Check the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center for updates during other times of the year. “It’s like going fishing: you check the weather first to see what’s going on in the skies before you go,” Oluseyi explains. Also, check the weather on Earth ahead of time.

Even on a clear day, seeing what you want can take a long time, perhaps several hours, so go with companions to make long expeditions more enjoyable. You are not confined to simply waiting for shooting stars. It is true that looking for other things can be beneficial at times. Oluseyi explains, “You can look for satellites, constellations, and double stars.”

“You can look for Andromeda.” Every time I travel to a new location on the planet, I have to check out the night sky from where I am. “Suddenly you see something out of the corner of your eye and you turn your head and this shiny thing, like ‘Woo,’ happens,” says one observer.

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