It will be the 6th meteor shower that I will observe, since the captivating December night of 2010 when I first observed the Geminids Meteor Shower. Perseids last year was bugged by a constantly shining Full Moon (and rain throughout the early part of the night), but this year it promises to be a good show all around, with a waning half-moon, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and Venus to observe throughout the night besides the occasional meteors burning through the atmosphere.
This weekend the Stargazer Society of MCKL will be heading to our northern headquarters of Bukit Tinggi to observe the meteor shower! Weather forecasts are good so I hope that it will be a good show. The site has already been tested with the Lyrids this April and it will be just fine for a meteor hunting trip.
<- For those in KL or Kajang area, Simpson of the UNITEN Astronomy Club is holding a meteor hunting session at Mini Stadium, UNITEN. Everyone is invited, public included! Admission is free, just show up at the time stated to join in the fun! The Facebook event page is at www.facebook.com/events/399068340141646/
For others, you can just observe at your own neighbourhood. Pick a spot where you can have the widest view of the sky and is fairly dark, i.e. shaded from streetlights and house lights. Gather your friends and family to enjoy the night under the night sky. How to see meteors? Just lie down and wait for one to pass by! You do not need a telescope to see the meteors. Nice things to have are mosquito repellants, sleeping bags/tikar for lying down, a flask of hot tea (it can get quite cold at midnight) and snacks! A reminder, make sure that your location is safe too. Safety should be prioritized above meteor hunting! :P
A nice thing to do - print a star chart at http://www.midnightkite.com/starcharts.html to identify the constellations up in the sky on that night! See http://chrono13.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-use-sfa-star-chartmalaysia.html for more details on how to use a star chart. If you have an iPhone or iPad you can also download one of the many planetarium programs in the app store. I use SkyORB on the iPad and it’s fantastic. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skyorb/id338051358?mt=8 And, it's free!
So go forth and hunt for meteors with your friends and family this Saturday night! Don’t miss out this opportunity!