The best places to watch the Perseid meteor shower

WASHINGTON — For those who want to watch the Perseid meteor shower with others, there are plenty of options for group viewings around the region.

Wednesday night into Thursday morning is the best time to catch the peak of the Perseids.

The area is already lucking out with good weather and likely little moonlight for possibly the best viewing conditions since 2007.

Some experts say people who live far enough away from the city lights — like residents out in Loudoun, Fauquier and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia, as well as Frederick County, Maryland, and other more rural spots — should be able to catch the shooting stars in their own backyards, if the skies are clear enough.

Here are some of the places that are holding viewings for the special night:

  • The City of Rockville is rolling out the red carpet for shower viewers at the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center parking lot and nearby Welsh Park. The park is normally closed but will stay open just for the viewing.
  • In Howard County, the Conservancy in Woodstock is open for the viewing. Towson University Assistant Professor of Astrophysics Dr. Parviz Ghavamian will bring his high-powered telescope and will talk about the shower (though you don’t need it to see the meteors). It begins at 10 p.m.
  • Shenandoah National Park is hosting three viewing parties at three different locations starting at 9 p.m. One at Big Meadows will include a presentation by WTOP contributor Greg Redfern.
  • The Northern Virginia Astronomy Club is hosting public viewings at C.M. Crockett Park, Sky Meadows State Park, and Great Meadow. Members can also watch at Aquasco Farm in southern Maryland and at The Mountain Institute at Spruce Knob.

For those looking to get the experience from the comfort of their own home, NASA will be broadcasting the shower on Ustream starting at 10 p.m.

Tweet us with pictures and videos throughout the night with #WTOP.

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