|Image via Jordan Lacsina|
Plan ahead. // There are several different meteor showers throughout the year with varying frequency and ability to see based on the moon phase at the time and of course the weather. I usually look up the dates for all the meteor showers throughout the year and pencil them in my calendar so I know when they are. Here is a calendar you can follow. You don't have to stick to only the peak dates either, these are just when you are more likely to see more.
Head somewhere dark. // You're going to want to get as far away from light pollution as you can. When you get away from the city, you will be surprised by how many stars you can see. The darker the sky, the more meteors you will see. Just make sure that it is okay for you to be in the location you're planning on viewing the shower at and you aren't trespassing. You can use a light pollution map like this one to help you find a good spot.
Understand the radiant point. // Each meteor shower has a different radiant point, which is just the point in the sky that the meteors appear to radiate from. It isn't necessary to know the radiant and wait for it to be up in the sky, but it can be useful. You will still see meteors even before the radiant has risen into the sky, but once it has you will see a lot more of them. When it is the highest overhead, you will see the most.
Pack for the occasion. // No matter what time of year you are planning to view a meteor shower there are certain things you should always bring. Make sure you have something warm with you, even in the summer because nights can get damp and chilly. If it is colder you will want to also bring some warmer clothing like gloves, a hat, etc. In the warmer months make sure you have bug spray so you don't get eaten alive. If you are planning on staying out for an extended period of time consider bringing along snacks and beverages. Depending on where you are planning to view the shower, you'll also want to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs so you can comfortably recline and watch the sky. Binoculars are an optional item, I usually tend to see more meteors without them because I can watch the entire sky and not just one small part of it, but it can be fun to take a few minutes and look through them. One more optional item I recommend bringing is a flashlight. If you can, bring a red flashlight in order to preserve your night vision.
Put the phone away. // Similar to a normal flashlight, the light that your devices emit will impact your vision at night. Every time you glance down at your phone and then back up you are going to have to wait for your eyes to readjust. When your eyes are adjusted to the dark you will see more stars and meteors. Use this time to unplug from your devices, connect with nature, and recharge.
Let me know if you watch meteor showers and have any additional tips or questions down in the comments! Happy stargazing!