I love watching the stars, and shooting stars are some of the most interesting to watch.
The Perseids will peak Monday night, although the best bet for seeing a really great shower is to set your alarm and get up around 1:30AM in the morning. That’s because the moon will have set and the point the meteors seem to come from will be higher. For a full rundown on how to observe the Perseid meteor shower check out my guide on National Geographic News.
I’ll be observing the Perseids this year from Hay Lake just outside Algonquin Provincial Park, my usual summer location.
A large group of astronomers, however, will be observing from near Mount Forest, Ontario, at the site of Starfest 2008. Starfest is a star party where amateur astronomers get together to hang out, talk, and look at the sky. It’s the biggest in Canada with regular attendance over a thousand people.
This will be my 10th year at Starfest, and I am looking forward to seeing my usual cast of friends from the Bruce County Astronomical Society. As well, Ivan Semeniuk, U.S. Bureau Chief for New Scientist magazine and a former Discovery Channel Canada astronomy columnist, will be giving the keynote speech which should be great.
Finally, if you’ve ever wondered how scientists predict meteor showers, protect satellites from collisions, or what meteors tell us about the formation of the solar system, you should check out my upcoming article on Innovation Canada. I discuss the University of Western Ontario’s Meteor Physics Group, which is the largest group in North America. As well, they are the go-to guys when NASA wants to know anything about the meteor environment. Pretty cool stuff.
Now, if only there were some way I could guarantee clear skies for every one of my readers. That would be really cool.