The Earth is about to plow through a patch of cometary debris. Sounds scary, right? Don’t worry, it does this every summer.
This cosmic event is referred to as the Perseid Meteor Shower, so-called because its meteors appear to hail from a point within the constellation Perseus. This shower is widely regarded as the most breathtaking shower in the Northern Hemisphere, producing 50 or more meteors per hour every year.
Technically, we have been passing through this patch of debris since July 17 and will continue passing through it until Aug. 24. However, the shower’s peak (when the Earth passes through the densest area) will occur Aug. 12 (this Sunday).
Naturally, you’ll want to get as far from city lights as possible to take in all that the Perseids have to offer. The Highland Road Park Observatory has you covered on that front—the observatory will host a viewing party 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
But wait, it gets better—the Perseids are poised to put on a much more awe-inspiring show than usual this year, as the moon will be near its new moon phase on Sunday. This means it will set before the Perseid Meteor Shower commences around midnight, cutting down on potential light pollution.
While you might be able to see some flares wherever you are, your best bet for spotting meteors in Baton Rouge will be at the Highland Road Park Observatory this Sunday. So pack your blankets, lawn chairs and bug spray, folks. The observatory is at 13800 Highland Road.