Buckle up, celestial stans: tomorrow night is going to be a wild ride.
Tomorrow, August 11th, an incredible meteor shower is set to take place all across the northern hemisphere. NASA insists that this shower is ‘often considered to be one of the best meteor showers of the year due to its high rates and pleasant late-summer temperatures,’ so you really shouldn’t miss it. Plus, we’re all still supposed to *still* be staying home anyways, so there really isn’t an excuse for you to miss it.
This isn’t just any meteor shower, though—it’s a Perseid meteor shower. And apparently, it’s the sh*t.
According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, a Perseid meteor shower is caused by ‘the Earth slamming into debris left behind by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle in July and August every year,’—whatever that means—which in turn cause vibrant meteors to shoot across the sky at a high-hourly rate. They also explain that the shower is called Perseid due to it’s origination from the constellation Perseus, which apparently is the reason that it can be so visually dramatic. There’s a bit of celestial knowledge you never asked for, but got anyway.
In order to get the full effect of the shower, though, you might have to make some sacrifices in your sleeping routine. Royal Museums Greenwich lists several of the best ways to experience the meteor shower, and one of them is staying up late. Like, almost-all-night late.
Their website states that the best time to witness anything is ‘when the sky is darkest, and when the target is at its highest position in the sky.’ This means that the best time for you to crank that neck up at the sky is between 12am and 5:30am, so if you’re really set on seeing it, you better brew a late-night pot of coffee. However, they also explain that it is likely you will be able to see it once the sun sets, so don’t freak out just yet. It just might not be as vibrant.
Unless you’re in bed before sunset, then I don’t know what else to tell you.
With little to look forward to at the moment, consider making the effort to stay up and see something that only happens once a year. Put your phone away, adjust your eyes to the darkness, put a chair outside, and look up. It might just be the easiest thing you’ve done during this whole pandemic—or the hardest, we don’t judge.