Get a Free eBook on How to Watch Meteor Showers from Sky & Telescope

Sky & Telescope's newest ebook takes a peek into the history, art, and science of meteor-watching. Download now!

Glimpse a shooting star, and you catch a brief view into something larger than ourselves. Meteors can be seen any night of the year, but if you look up in August, you'll the biggest annual meteor shower with the mid-month Perseids.

This free ebook from Sky & Telescope provides a peek into the history, art, and science of meteor-watching. Learning the ins and outs of shooting stars can help make your night watching the Perseid meteor shower more successful — and more fun! For example, keeping track of how many meteors you see and which direction they come from in the night sky can make meteor-watching more meaningful. And knowing the history of how the most famous shooting stars came to be discovered will give you a new perspective on what you see.

When you download the Shooting Stars ebook, you'll receive the following articles:

  • "Discovering the Perseid Meteors" by Mark Littmann explains the detective work that revealed the truth behind the mid-August meteor shower.
  • "Deciphering Meteor-ese" by Paul Deans is a meteor shower primer. What is a shooting star? What's the difference between a meteor, meteoroid, or meteorite? What causes meteor showers? Find the answers here.
  • "The Basics of Meteor Observing" by Alan MacRobert gets you started in observing shooting stars and gives a few hints to enhance the meteor shower experience.
  • "Dark Nights for the Perseids" by Alan MacRobert provides all you'll need to watch the next Perseid meteor shower.

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Perseid meteor over IranA Perseid meteor zips over Iran's Alamut Valley during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower in August 2012.
Oshin Zakarian/

Download Your Free Shooting Stars eBook Now From Sky & Telescope!

Are shooting stars real? Not in the literal sense — stars aren't actually falling out of the sky — but watching pebbles and dust flash through our atmosphere provides a unique view into the universe we live in. Whether you're planning your first viewing or your hundredth, you'll find useful information in this free ebook from Sky & Telescope. Find out where to look for the meteor shower and how you can make watching the meteor shower even more fun.

Ebook Meteors

Article #1: Discovering the Perseid Meteor Shower

Did you know that prior to 1837, few knew the Perseids were an annual meteor shower? Edward Herrick, a local bookstore owner in Connecticut, began investigating after seeing a particularly stunning night of activity- but he was only one of the meteor shower's many discoverers.

Ebook Meteors

Article #2: Deciphering 'Meteor-ese'

Learn the basic facts about shooting stars in this article: what causes meteor showers, what meteors look like, and how to keep the look-alike terms, meteor, meteorite, and meteoroid straight.

Ebook Meteors

Article #3: The Basics of Meteor Observing

Looking for shooting stars is one of the easiest forms of astronomy that you can do. This article covers the basics of meteor-watching, including advice on how to make the meteor shower experience more successful — and fun!

Ebook Meteors

Article #4: Dark Nights for the Perseids

Plan to watch for the Perseid meteors in mid-August between midnight and dawn. Plus, keep an eye out for two much weaker showers also active during this time, the Delta Aquariids and Kappa Cygnids!

Your Free Guide to the Perseids Meteor Shower Is Waiting!

As a special thank you for downloading this free eBook, we'll welcome you to the Sky & Telescope family. This includes:

  • A free newsletter from Sky & Telescope filled with the latest astronomy and observing news.
  • Special offers on ShopatSky products any enthusiast would love.

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