Where to watch the Perseid meteor shower near Garden City, Utah?
August 7, 2018 5:24 AM   Subscribe

Where is a good spot to watch the Perseid meteor shower near Garden City, Utah?

Living in NYC, it's rare for me to be able to see stars, let alone a meteor shower. This year I have the good fortune of being in Garden City, Utah from Wednesday through Sunday this week, which happens to coincide with the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. I was hoping someone more familiar with the area might be able to point me to a good place to watch the show from? I mean, I suppose it's possible the yard where we're staying will be fine, but if there's a good outlook spot or something I'd love to hear about it.

Bonus question: From a previous question I learned about Iridium flares, and I think there's a bright one happening on Thursday right smack over where we are going to be, so I will be trying to check that out... any tips for catching one of those?
posted by Grither to Science & Nature (3 answers total)
I think the yard probably *will* be fine but you'll have some really dark areas very close by - I think it would be worth a little trip if the skies are clear! This Dark Site Finder can give you an idea of where the darkest places nearby are - it looks like heading down US Route 30 towards Wyoming is probably the fastest way to get really dark.
posted by mskyle at 5:38 AM on August 7, 2018

Just drive a few miles east on U.S. 30. Or you could go to the Cokeville Meadows Wildlife Refuge which is just east of Bear Lake (be prepared for fierce mosquitoes).

For the Iridium flare it is quite simple. Make sure you enter the exact longitude/latitude for your chosen viewing location, which you can get from google maps. Then you just look in the direction (azimuth) that the tool gives you. Count down the seconds exactly to the time indicated using your phone -- five, four, three, two, one -- and boom, there it will be. The flare will only last a few seconds so you need to be prepared.

Go to this page to enter your location, either by name or below you can enter exact coordinates. Make sure you choose the right time zone. After you update your location information, you can then go to the home page and select Iridium flares and it will list them.
posted by JackFlash at 9:24 AM on August 7, 2018

If you're up for an adventure and a longer drive, Craters of the Moon National Monument (in Idaho) is now an International Dark Sky Park. Sadly their web site doesn't list any astronomy events around the shower, but it might be worth calling the visitor center to ask. We've been to a couple parks where they had programs that weren't reflected on their web sites.
posted by fedward at 10:26 AM on August 7, 2018

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