Each August, the Perseid meteor shower reappears in Colorado—and Rocky Mountain National Park’s dark skies make for a brilliant show. These shooting stars (astronomical debris heating up as they rub up against Earth’s atmosphere) appear at a rate of one per minute or more at the peak.
When to see the Perseids?
According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, (www.space.com/32868-perseid-meteor-shower-guide.html) the meteor shower’s peak will be visible both the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13, 2018.
Don’t expect to see too much early in the night. The best viewing time is between midnight and just before dawn. Get as far away from unnatural lights as possible, and give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust. Meteor watching is a waiting game so bring a blanket and get comfortable.
For three nights, August 1-12, the park will hold a Night Sky Festival with ranger-led activities. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/night_sky_festival.htm.
Where to see them?
You want to be in a wide open area with 360-degree views. In Rocky Mountain National Park, head for Trail Ridge Road, Kawuneeche Valley, Beaver Meadows, or Lake Irene.
Below is a timelapse video of 2012’s shower filmed by Dave Dugdale at Lake Irene in the park. Nightime shots start at 1:30 marker on video.