Memory-Makers: Your Guide to a Night Under the Stars

July 17, 2019| by savannah traywick

An enjoyable activity this summer for you and your family that can be a once in a lifetime experience for everyone, is stargazing and watching for meteors!

 Stargazing in July:

Towards the end of July, and early August the Delta Aquariid meteor shower can be seen around the world. The peak for this summer shower is July 27th- July 30th, and can reach up to 20 meteors an hour. The best time to watch is after midnight, just before dawn.

Stargazing in August:

Mid-August is when The Perseid meteor shower is showcased across the sky. This meteor shower is perhaps the most beloved, for its many and bright meteors that streak across the night sky. The peak for this summer shower is August 11th, 12th, and 13th. The best time to watch is as the night darkens towards midnight, and in the wee hours before dawn.

This is a great opportunity to take your family on an adventure, let the kids stay up late, tell stories, and marvel at the beautiful stars. Before the meteor shower starts it can be fun to drive out of town a bit, tell stories, make s’mores, snuggle up and find constellations.

Some of the best ways to watch can be away from city lights laying out on an air mattress, in leaning chairs, in the bed of a truck, or swaying in a hammock. Stay extra cozy by layering up and snuggling up with blankets or sleeping bags.

Add to the fun and be more in the know about what you're watching/looking for by using a star gazing app on your phone. These are used to show you what stars are in the sky and what constellations you are looking at. Holding your phone up to the sky, you can see details on stars, constellations, satellites, comets, and meteor showers. On the screen it will show you the name, if it’s part of a constellation, and how far away the star is. Some good apps are, Star Chart, Night Sky Lite, and SkyView® Lite.

As you wait for the action to dance across the night sky, keep yourselves entertained by playing games like seeing who can spot a meteor, keep a tally of how many constellations and meteors you see, and/or pick a favorite star and name it. Draw the family into this nighttime adventure with the lure of yummy snacks and comfy blankets; then settle in for a night of wonder.

This is a night to be curious, to relax, and to be together as a family. Add some hot chocolate, and you are set to stargaze this summer!

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