This year´s Perseid meteor shower promises to be one of the most spectacular shows ever, thanks to a new moon on August 14 creating the perfect conditions for watching the shower of shooting stars.
The Perseids, one of the brighter meteor showers of the year, occur every year between July 17 and August 24. This year, the best nights are expected to be tonight and tomorrow (12 & 13 August), due to the extra-dark skies just before the new moon. While the skies light up several times a year by other meteor showers, the Perseids are widely sought after by astronomers and stargazers, with up to 100 meteors an hour sometimes visible at its peak! Perseids: meteor light show set to dazzle (BBC website).
Time-lapse photo of the Perseids (BBC website).
Unlike much of the UK and northern Europe - where cloud cover is sadly (but predictably!) expected to spoil the show - the weather in rural Andalucia, southern Spain, is likely to be perfect for viewing tonight and tomorrow. Being located 2km from our nearest village we have no light pollution here at Casa Olea and we´ll be turning the lights down after dinner, so our resident star gazers can head to the pool terrace and lie back on the sun loungers to properly enjoy the show – the best viewing is expected from 11pm onwards tonight!
What is the Perseid Meteor Shower?
Check these links to a BBC Guide for all you need to know about the Perseids & Shooting Stars...
Map of the Night Sky & location of Perseids Meteor Shower (BBC website).
Tips on How to Watch Meteor Showers (Shooting Stars)
1) Check the weather: Meteors, or shooting stars, are easy to spot, all you need is clear skies and a pair of eyes.
2) Get out of town: Find a place as far away as possible from artificial lights.
3) Be patient and have something comfortable to sit or lie down on - star gazing is a waiting game! If you have an astronomy app on your phone, then you´ll be able to find the exact location of Persius (and any visible planets too!) based on your GPS positioning. Very cool!
Astroid watch, Jimmy Westlake (Nasa website).
Check Nasa´s top tips on How to see the best Meteor Showers of the Year!
Other Links for Where Best to See the Perseids in 2015
In Wales (Wales Online)
In the USA (LA Times)
Watching the Perseids in the USA (LA Times).
Our 3 other favourite Night-time Views in ANDALUCIA
Priego de Cordoba – beautiful cliff-top setting and Baroque churches illuminated at night
Fortaleza La Mota, Alcala la Real – spectacular (and unvisited) hill-top fortress, between Granada and Cordoba.
Alhambra palace, Granada – a mesmerizing sight both night and day!
CASA OLEA is an award-winning, boutique B&B located close to Priego de Cordoba, half way between Granada and Cordoba, in the heart of Andalucia.
Cover photo: Star trail at Moorish watchtower near Casa Olea hotel, Andalucia (Bart D´Herde).