Tonight the Geminid meteor shower should be at full force.
As an avid meteor watcher myself, I have developed a list of tips for watching.
1. Dress Warm – Like really warm.
I can’t tell you how many times I or a companion have made this mistake when watching meteors. You are going to be sitting dead still, for probably two or three hours if it is going off, or you are with someone worth hanging out in the dark with. During this time with no movement, you end up generating no heat. You also won’t want the engine to be running, because even if it is just some small glow on the dashboard, it will make everything totally impossible to see. You also end up somewhere like the hood of the car, or laying on a blanket, so it is literally like camping, so way over dress.
2. Go over the hill and find somewhere dark.
Even the smallest amount of light travels great distances and can screw up your viewing. Light can’t pass through a hill. So if you are in a city area, with a hill or mountain between you and wilderness, just drive over that hill. Even a big object like a barn, a big building, or anything without lights, can make a huge difference.
3. Bring snacks.
Everything is better with snacks. I prefer something crunchy, which is just really funny when you are out at night in the silence and you hear the pretzels crunching over everything else. Hot cocoa, or other hot food is awesome, but I will guarantee that just as soon as you are pouring, your meteor partner will go, “whooooooo did you see that?” and you will say, no! I was pouring your cocoa!
4. Go with someone cool, or go alone.
Most of the time is spent lying on your back with nothing going on. It is an amazing time to really bond, share secrets, and share dreams. If the person is not totally cool, this is the one to leave them at home on Doing this alone is totally cool, but you will have that moment when the flaming ball of Hades comes firing down and you scream, and look around, but there is no one there!
5. Go late. Don’t try to see them an hour or two after the sun goes down. It just won’t be fully dark enough. Wait till it is right in the middle of the published period of when it is going to be, this one tonight will be around 1:00 eastern time.
6. Plan how you are going to lay to watch them. You can park your car with the nose in the air somewhere, but your field of vision will be severely limited, just not worth it. What I found works best is to dress super warm, and get a couple of reclining lounge chairs, like you would have by the pool. Then also bring sleeping bags and blankets, cause you will freeze your ass off!
7. If at all possible, bring someone you can make out with. Cause even if it ends up being overcast, you see no shooting stars, someone has a damn light on, or whatever, you will still have a good memory and a good story for afterwards!