Every year in August, the peak of the Perseid Meteor Showers occurs and there are plenty of viewing spots to enjoy them in Ohio.
Observatory Park in Geauga County hosts special events for those wanting to enjoy the show. Designated a Silver Tier Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association, they encourage viewers to spend the night at the Meteors & Moths Overnight Events. On August 12, they will have another program explaining the night sky – The Sky Tonight Planetarium Show.
Burr Oak State Park along with many other Ohio State Parks and metroparks are also planning several watch parties.
The new John Glenn Astronomy Park in Hocking Hills also celebrates the Perseids with special events.
Local astronomy clubs may have special gatherings organized. With a little bit of pre-planning, you can scout out a nearby site for the best nearby viewing opportunities. Have a boat? Perhaps a night time adventure would be worthwhile.
Be sure to check out The Clear Dark Sky website which suggests different sites across Ohio that are designated “dark sky”.
Tips for viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower
- Bring snacks and water.
- Grab the bug spray.
- Bring a blanket, chair, sleeping bag or other comfortable seating.
- If in a group have each person face in different directions.
- Allow 30 minutes for eyes to adjust.
- Peak nights are predicted for August 11 and 12, but can be seen before and after.
- Check with opening times of parks, observatories and other venues.
- Check this list for viewing spots.
- Find a spot with wide open spaces far from light pollution.
- Best viewing times are from 1-3am, but anytime between midnight and dawn is good.
- Take warm clothes especially if viewing during the wee hours.
- Bring a flashlight for safe maneuvering in the dark.
- Consider camping where possible and making a night of it.
- Be patient.
- Respect private property.
The moon will not be bright on these days, so if you can’t get to a dark area, take your chances and look upward. Otherwise, enjoy the darkened sky and the streaks of light brushing against the obscured backdrop. It’s possible to view approximately 60-70 meteors per hour in the blackened sky.
For more outdoor travel inspiration, Find It Here at Ohio.org.