Free eBook (pdf) from Sky & Telescope magazine gets you started in observing shooting stars and provides all you’ll need to watch the upcoming August 2013 Perseid meteor shower.
Meteor watching is one of the easiest forms of astronomy. Beginners like to observe “falling stars” because they don’t need a telescope for this. Meteors are pieces of space debris that plow into the Earth’s atmosphere. It is possible to observe either random meteors or meteor showers (this event happens when Earth passes through debris that the comet has left). One of the most famous showers showers is the Perseid meteor shower. It peak on 12/13 of August of each year. The comet, responsible for Perseids is Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.
In year 2013 the thick waxing crescent Moon will make very favorable viewing conditions. Look for Perseids from midnight until dawn, when Perseus climbs high in the northeastern sky (for North America and Europe). This year you may see from 50 to 100 meteors per hour.
Your Free guide to watching meteors is waiting!