A Cosmic Spectacle Has Started in the Sky, and It's Visible From the U.S.

A Cosmic Spectacle Has Started in the Sky, and It's Visible From the U.S.

The next major astronomical event of the year is here: the June Bootids. Here's how to watch it.

Tonight, a stunning cosmic display known as the June Bootids, an annual meteor shower that occurs at the end of June, will grace our skies. If the weather is good, it will be worth stepping outside and looking up this evening. 

In recent years, we've missed several extraordinary cosmic events because of bad weather, such as solar eclipses, but the coming years could make up for it. For example, in a few years, an asteroid will pass extremely close to Earth. For the next few days, we can enjoy the June Bootids meteor shower.

The June Bootids meteor shower is an annual celestial event that occurs every year from late June to early July. This meteor shower, known for its variable intensity, peaks around June 27th or 28th. During this time, stargazers can observe meteors radiating from the constellation Boötes. While some years produce only a few meteors per hour, others can offer spectacular displays with hundreds of meteors streaking across the sky. 

The meteor shower is active from June 22nd to July 2nd. The intensity of the shower varies; in some years, the Bootids have showcased hundreds of meteors per hour, but typically, the number ranges from a few to a dozen meteors per hour.

To observe the June Bootids meteor shower, follow these tips for the best viewing experience:

  • Plan to observe during the night and early morning hours when the sky is darkest. This is when you're most likely to see the highest number of meteors.
  • Choose a location away from city lights and other sources of light pollution. Rural areas, parks, or open fields are ideal. The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Boötes, which is located in the northwest part of the sky, so position yourself accordingly.
  • Bring a blanket, reclining chair, or sleeping bag to lie on. This will allow you to comfortably watch the sky for extended periods. Allow your eyes to adapt to the darkness for at least 20-30 minutes. Avoid looking at bright lights or screens during this time to ensure your eyes are fully adjusted, and enjoy!