Stargazers prep for Perseid meteor shower this weekend

Don't look for birds or planes this weekend, look for meteors!

Head to a dark place, lie back and look to the north — you'll spot the meteors there

The Perseid meteor shower happens every year around this time of year. This shot was taken near Bobcaygeon, Ont., on Aug. 12, 2015. (Fred Thornhill/Reuters)

Don't look for birds or planes this weekend, look for meteors!

Stargazers can expect to see the Perseid meteor shower racing across the night sky on Saturday, Aug. 12, into the early morning of Aug. 13.

Chris Vessey is one of the stargazers viewing the shower this weekend. He's a member of the Sidewalk Astronomers of Charlottetown — a group of locals who meet outside, set up their telescopes and invite the public look to peek into the night sky.

Vessey dropped by Mainstreet to give listeners some tips on how to view one of the most popular meteor showers of the year.

1. Head outside the city

"If you're going to look for this, you want to be in dark skies," Vessey said. "If you're here in Charlottetown, you're gonna find it very washed out, you're not going to see very much."

"Go to a very dark location, somewhere up on the North Shore."

Take some blankets, Vessey added, you're going to want to be nice and warm as the shower could go past 2 a.m.

2. Lie back and use your eyes

"Lie back, don't use binoculars or a telescope because you will not see anything." 

"These things move very fast."

3. Look up high and look to the north

Whip out the compass and look north-northeast around 22 degrees up "very close to the constellation Perseus," Vessey said.

"It's actually closer to another constellation, Camelopardalis, technically, but nobody knows that one — it's the giraffe constellation, nobody is looking for that."

Stargazers can expect to see around "two to three [meteors] per minute," Vessey estimates, into early Sunday morning.

With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.