Meet your Meteors

“She noted, more than once, that the meteor shower was happening, beyond the overcast sky, even if we could not see it. Who cares if she can kiss? She can see through the clouds.” John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

Top five places in the world for meteor watching

Meteors, commonly called ‘shooting stars’ bring a sense of awe and wonder with them. Popular legends say the wishes made on shooting stars come true, and quite naturally there are a number of fables centered on this celestial phenomenon.

Here we give you our pick of the five best places where you can sit under the stars and, if you’re lucky, catch a meteor on its way.

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1. Joshua Tree National Park, California

The site of convergence of two distinct desert ecosystems, the park offers great natural diversity and rich cultural history, along with the perfect ingredient for a meteor watch — spacious camping grounds under the starry skies. This vast swathe of wilderness in southern California is isolated from the bustle of the cities and suffers less from light pollution as a consequence.

2. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

One of the oldest tourist spots in Malaysia, this hill station offers a pleasant climate and dazzling views of rolling hills, among others. One of the best places to carry out the observation is along the road leading to the Boh Tea Estate. Enthusiasts can park their cars along the road shoulder and spot the shooting stars between the valleys.

3. Mersing Beach, Johor, Malaysia

This is a popular destination among stargazers. Accommodation and food prices are reasonable, as most of the motels and cafes are run by the villagers around the area. Mersing is a quiet beach town, located on the way to Tioman. While there aren’t many options to go for during day times, the brilliant night skies here are worth the stay for the meteor watcher.

4. Mercantour National Park

The park offers a variety of habitats (mostly lakes and mountains) besides being home to a range of flora and fauna. This diversity is mainly due to the area being a ‘transition zone’ from the high alps to the Mediterranean. In addition, the nights here can get exceptionally dark, perfect for some quality star time.

In addition, the nights here can get exceptionally dark, perfect for some quality star time.

5. Kielder Forest, England

ocated near the Scottish border in Northumberland, England, this forest is one of the best places to see a meteor shower. With a designated dark sky zone spanning 580 square miles, there is an also all year round observatory located at the heart of the park. Winter nights are best for a perfect meteor watch.

Gazing out at the heavens tends to give one a sense of being part of something greater. Have you gone meteor watching any time, anywhere? Let us know!

What is a meteor?
A meteor is a space rock or meteoroid that enters Earth’s atmosphere. As the space rock falls toward Earth, the resistance or drag of the air on the rock makes it extremely hot. What we see is a “shooting star.” That bright streak is not actually the rock, but rather the glowing hot air as the hot rock zips through the atmosphere!

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