Sky Gazing: Help NASA Gather Meteor Data This Weekend With Your Smartphone

Watch the Perseid Meteor shower this weekend (a hundred shooting stars an hour!) and help NASA at the same time. Here's how.

Never seen a shooting star? This weekend is your chance to see hundreds and NASA wants you to count them. The Perseid Meteor shower—the best of the year—will light up the pre-dawn sky Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights. So, grab a blanket and a set of binoculars and get out of Dodge. The further away from city light pollution the better shape you'll be in to make lots of wishes.

NASA released the Meteor Counter, a free iPhone and Android app to enlist amateur sky gazers in their data collection efforts. According to NASA, you'll be able to see the show any time after 10 or 11 at night, but the optimal time will be in the very early morning. You can actually listen to the ghostly inter-galactic sounds of the 1998 Leonid Meteor shower on NASA's site. EarthSky has a fantastic roundup of meteor shower viewing tips you might find helpful.


Image (cc) flickr user badcomputer