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Night Under the Stars with U.S. Cellular
The annual Perseid Meteor Shower will be at its peak for this family friendly learning event. Every year from mid-July to late August as the Earth orbits the sun, it passes through a series of fiery debris trails left behind from a moving comet. Those trails create what is called the Perseid Meteor Shower, a celestial event that is visible each night across the country.
To celebrate peak viewing of the shower on August 13th, U.S. Cellular suggests everyone grab their mobile devices and head outside for an evening of learning under the stars. “We’re all looking for ways to get out of the house this summer while staying safe and a little closer to home,” said Erryn Andersen, Director of Sales for U.S. Cellular in the NW. “Stargazing is a fun and educational activity that will inspire the whole family, and we hope everyone be able to experience this unique opportunity.”
U.S. Cellular has the following suggestions to make summer stargazing a success!
• Use your phone: There are several helpful apps that can provide information on the meteor shower as well as give information on what other stars and planets are visible. The NASA app has tons of information about meteor showers and hosts live streams of cosmic events. Sky Guide uses a cell phone camera directed towards the sky to identify stars, galaxies and satellites and helps users find where the most meteors are appearing during the Perseid meteor shower. Scope Nights Astronomy Weather provides detailed weather forecasts so users can plan to stargaze on clear nights.
• Move away from bright lights: NASA recommends getting away from artificial city light for the best viewing. Grab a blanket, some snacks and find a safe spot in a local rural area or find an open space near the edge of town to take in the show.
• Adjust your settings: In order to capture photos of the night sky on a smart phone, the camera settings need to be adjusted. Turn the exposure down, use the device’s night mode feature if it has it, and hold the phone steady while taking the shot.
• Be patient: While some meteors will be visible as soon as the sky turns black, Perseids tend to increase in numbers as the night goes on.