Have you ever seen a shooting star? What about 100?
The Perseid meteor shower — aka the Perseids — is predicted to take place throughout August. The shower happens when Earth passes through the trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, offering spectators across the globe the opportunity to see ~100 meteors per hour when the shower is at its peak.
Ready to go meteor hunting? Check out our guide below.
When to view
The best time to watch the meteor shower is late at night or in the predawn hours during its peak from Thurs., Aug. 11-Sat., Aug. 13. These days will provide the opportunity to see the brightest + most numerous meteors.
However, because of the full Sturgeon moon on Thurs., Aug. 11, the showers are expected to be washed out. On this night, the sky will be darkest right before dawn.
Bonus: Even if you can’t watch the Perseid meteor shower during its peak, you can still catch views of the shower throughout August.
Where to go
When choosing a spot to watch the Perseids, aim for a location that is away from man-made light. Here are some spots that we suggest:
Harrison Bay State Park | 7855 Bay Marina Cir. | This state park is 1,200 acres along the shores of Chickamauga Lake and is only a ~29 minute drive from downtown Chattanooga. Drive up for the night or camp under the stars.
Chilhowee Overlook | U.S. 64 E. to Forest Service Rd. | About an hour out of Chattanooga, you can take a scenic drive through Benton, TN and up the mountain where there are several overlook areas that are perfect for stargazing.
Cloudland Canyon State Park | 122 Cloudland Canyon Park Rd. | Located ~30 minutes out of Chattanooga, this state park in northern Georgia has multiple hiking trails that lead to mountain overlooks.
Pro tip: You don’t need binoculars or a telescope to view the Perseids. If you have trouble finding the shower, make sure you are looking at the darkest part of the sky and allow your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness.
What to bring
- Light jacket (or even a sleeping bag)
- A red flashlight (learn how to make your own.)
Pro tip: Pick up some Chattabrew nuts from Nokes Granola (you can pick them up at The Local Juicery + Kitchen along with other snacks) in case you get hungry.