You may be concerned about missing the much-awaited Perseid Meteor Shower on Aug. 11 because you live in one of the populated, pollution-filled cities and not in the suburbs or the countryside.
But you can still watch the meteor shower clearly from major cities like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, as there are areas within and outside these cities where the event will be clearly visible in the skies.
Ideally, the night of Aug. 11 and the early hours of Aug. 12 is the best time to view the Perseids, when up to 60 shooting stars every hour will be seen streaking the skies.
“The Perseids appear to produce more fireballs than any other meteor shower, where fireballs are extra bright meteors,” Caitlin Ahrens, an astronomer at the University of Arkansas, told Gizmodo. “In the case of the Perseids, these get to be almost as bright as Venus. So you’ll have a better than decent chance of catching sight of a fireball, as well.”
Below is a list of places from where you can have a good view of the 2017 Perseids in a few major cities:
New York City: Spectators can view the meteor shower from Upper Manhattan’s Inwood Hill Park, which is reportedly one of the favorite location for amateur astronomers to gaze at the sky. Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field is also an option, if you are not up to traveling upstate or to New Jersey to watch the Perseids. You can also opt for Carl Schurz Park in the Upper East Side. If you don’t mind traveling a bit, then visit the Jamaica Bay on Ruffle Bar Island or the Cedar Point County Park on Long Island, which lies over two hours from NYC.
Los Angeles: Traveling a few miles outside the city can give a good view of the Perseids. Visit the popular star-gazing locale in Angeles National Forest, 45 minutes from downtown and which is thronged by young astronomers and other sky-gazers during celestial events. The Santa Monic Mountains is another location that has dark night skies ideal for witnessing the shower; Topanga State Park and Malibu Creek State Park are also good options.
Chicago: Indiana Dunes State Park located an hour east of the city and Silver Springs State Park an hour west are great options to watch the meteor show.
Houston: Brazo Bend State Park in Needville, located 45 minutes southwest of the city, and Sam Houston National Forest, an hour north of Houston, are ideal locations to see the celestial event. Houston Museum of Natural Science, which usually closes by 9 p.m., will remain open until 6 a.m. on Aug. 12 for the Perseids.
“This year, we are expecting enhanced rates of about 150 per hour or so, but the increased number will be cancelled out by the bright Moon, the light of which will wash out the fainter Perseids,” Bill Cooke, the head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, said earlier this month. “A meteor every couple of minutes is good, and certainly worth going outside to look, but it is hardly the ‘brightest shower in human history.'”