August, 2013 – Meteor Shower on The Big Island of Hawaii – Perseids to Dazzle!
‘Tis summer and the season for The Perseids, the Northern Hemisphere’s most anticipated annual celestial event!
August 9 – 13, 2013 are the peak viewing nights this year.
A waxing crescent moon will set early in the evening for stargazers to be gifted with an indigo black sky as backdrop for approximately 80-100 meteors per minute! Combine that star power with the world-class stargazing skies of Hawaii, and The Perseids are a “must see” while on vacation this summer on The Big Island.
Perseids translates from ancient Greek as “Sons of Perseus”. The shower, which has been viewed on Earth for at least 2000 years, radiates from the constellation Perseus, thus the name. The Perseids are fiery particles of dust shed from the Comet Swift-Tuttle as they flash like sparklers across the sky.
Pointers for viewing the Meteor Shower:
– Pick your viewing spot in advance. We recommend poolside at Holualoa Inn if skies are clear!
– Find the constellation Perseus (NE direction) on a star map in advance.
– No telescope required! Just set your alarm and head to your spot – lie prone for an open view to the sky.
– Plan an early night, as the best viewing times are the 4 hours preceding twilight;
approximately Midnight to 4:00 AM.
– Allow time for your eyes to adjust to the night sky-approximately 15 minutes.
The Visitor center offers a nightly Stargazing Program, 6-10 pm, with guides available to assist in constellation and planet identification. Although the center closes before the Perseids begin their show, you may catch the beginning on your drive down!
At 9,000 ft., The Onizuka Center for International Astronomy houses some of the world’s most powerful telescopes.
Please note the trip up the mountain to high elevation is along a remote road and the journey requires planning. This trip is not recommended for young children or adults with medical issues. Please see the Visitor Center site for details or ask one of the Innkeepers at Holualoa Inn for assistance.
For a complete star gazing experience, visit Mauna Kea Observatory the first night and enjoy an evening of meteor showers at Holualoa Inn the next!