Written by Danielle Taylor | Header image by Jeff London
Each summer, the Earth passes through the debris trail of the comet Swift-Tuttle, and as bits of the slowly disintegrating comet hit our atmosphere and incinerate, they create flaming streaks of light across the night sky commonly known as “shooting stars.” This annual event is the Perseid meteor shower, and it reaches its peak this weekend. Better yet, with this weekend’s moonless skies, conditions are prime for seeing the show. In areas with minimal light pollution, stargazers can expect to witness up to 70 meteors per hour.
Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region features some of the country’s darkest skies east of the Mississippi, making this area one of the best places in the mid-Atlantic to see the most meteors possible. This year’s Spring/Summer issue of GO magazine included information on the region’s dark skies, and you can use this article as a guide to find your own place to watch nature’s magnificence in action. Depending on cloud cover, the best times to see Perseids meteors will be between midnight and dawn on Saturday and Sunday morning, although some will be visible before midnight and will continue through August 24. Look to the north for the Perseus constellation that gives the meteor shower its name.
This region has plenty of lodging facilities from cozy cabins and family-friendly campgrounds to plush B&Bs and familiar hotels, so you can easily find accommodations to fit your needs and budget near your perfect slice of sky. Plan your trip to the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region by going to VisitPAGO.com or calling (814) 849-5197.