A night under the Perseids
Young and old never tire of gathering together as night falls to view this dazzling display of shooting stars that Mother Nature treats us to every summer.
Canada covers a vast territory full of wide open spaces and countless mountains, so there are literally thousands of ideal places from which to admire the Perseids! Living in the Great North means we are well situated for this type of activity. Of course, making a trip to spend the night outdoors is certainly not for everyone.
From mid-July until the third week of August, the Perseids can be seen with the naked eye if the viewing conditions are right. On August 11 and 12, during the night, mainly around midnight, they will be at their peak, according to the experts. For parents with young children, you can catch the beginning of the meteor shower as soon as it gets dark.
THE RIGHT CONDITIONS?
A location outside of a large city (even in the mountains) with a treeless horizon, on a dark, moonless night when the sky is clear and unaffected by light pollution as much as possible. If you can find the Little Dipper among the stars, then you’re probably in a good place to view the Perseids.
Enjoy an unforgettable night under the starry sky!
— DIY - TIPS —
* I made a star-themed pattern by tracing the shapes I wanted on a piece of cardboard and then cut them out with an X-Acto knife.
** When I do DIY projects, I like to repurpose the things that I already have to reduce my consumption of material and the waste my family generates. Plus, it saves money! For this project, I reused pillow cases that we couldn’t sell at our last garage sale. Otherwise, I could have opted for a vinyl tablecloth or shower curtain in place of the cases to create the “pockets.” These alternative options have an advantage: the mattress is water-resistant! Regardless of the material, don’t be afraid to get creative with colours and designs.
— WHAT TO BRING? —
If you will be watching from a field or near a woody area, away from city lights, mosquito repellent and warm clothing are a must. Be sure to also take along a flashlight or head lamp equipped with a red bulb or filter.
A tarp is essential to protect your mattress against ground moisture or dew. Keeping dry is important if you want to be comfortable. And you protect your homemade creation at the same time!
Finally, pack a pair of binoculars – children get a kick out of them (my Henri certainly did!). Even though their field of vision is too narrow for the Perseids, they are great for viewing the moon or Jupiter.
When it comes to preparing a bag for your Perseids outing, plan on including the little things that your young ones might need. Of course, this means a good snack, accompanied by a hot drink (for some great recipe ideas, see bottom of page).
The Natrel milk shown is for presentation purposes only. If you bring Natrel milk, keep it cold at all times so it stays delicious!