420-friendly camping is especially great for star watching, and Space.com shares that the Perseid meteor shower is one of the best shooting star displays of the year and are active every year from mid-July to late August (aka right now!):
This year the shower will peak around Aug. 13, 2023, and this year will be a good one for the Perseid viewing as the moon will only be 10% illuminated.
The Perseids are caused by Earth passing through debris — bits of ice and rock — left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle which last passed close to Earth in 1992. The Perseids peak when Earth passes through the densest and dustiest area on Aug. 11-12. Years without moonlight see higher rates of meteors per hour, and in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.
…To find the Perseid meteor shower, it’s a good idea to look for the point in the sky where they appear to originate from, this is known as the radiant. According to NASA, the Perseids’ radiant is in the Perseus constellation. Though Perseus isn’t the easiest to find, it conveniently follows the brighter and more distinctive constellation Cassiopeia across the night sky. The meteor shower gets its name from the constellation it radiates from, the constellation is not the source of the meteors.
To best see the Perseids, go to the darkest possible location and lean back and relax. You don’t need any telescopes or binoculars as the secret is to take in as much sky as possible and allow about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.
Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA