Right now, the stunning Orionid meteor shower is in full swing, and astronomers estimate that tonight in the US, the shower will reach its peak, where viewers can see as many as 20 meteors an hour. This is the best meteor shower of the month, so if you're into watching dozens of falling stars in a single night, then you won't want to miss it.
To see it, you have to find the right time and place, and several apps can help. Here's a list of our top picks.
Dark Sky meter App measures how dark the night sky is in your area.
App: Dark Sky meter App (Buy it for iOS here.) Price: US$0.99
When it comes to watching meteor showers, you want to find the darkest skies possible. Dark Sky meter gives you instant information about the viewing quality of the skies in your area, which includes not only how dark the sky is but also if there are any pesky clouds in the way.
Star Chart shows you where the constellations are in the sky, among other handy features.
APP: Star Chart (Get it for Android here.) Price: Free!
Each meteor shower is named for the constellation from where the meteors seem to appear in the night sky. The Orionid meteor shower, therefore, appears to come from the constellation Orion. So, if you direct your gaze toward the Orion constellation, you should have a great show. Star Chart can help you find where the Orion constellation - as well as any other constellation - is in your night sky at any given time.
The Meteor Shower Calendar App will make sure you never miss another meteor shower again.
App: Meteor Shower Calendar (Get for Android and iOS here.) Price: Free!
This handy calendar lets you know when a meteor shower is coming up. It will even tell you when the shower starts, when it peaks, and when it ends. It can also give you the phase of the moon so you know how dark the night sky will be at optimal viewing time.
Dark Sky gives you the latest weather forecast for any zip code across the US.
App: Dark Sky (Get it for iOS here.) Price: US$3.99
The weather is always changing. You could be enjoying a meteor shower one minute, and the next, a wave of thick rain clouds could roll in and obstruct your view. You can help prevent this by using arguably one of the best weather Apps out there, Dark Sky. It will let you know when it will rain up to an hour in advance and can give you minute-by-minute weather predictions for the next hour.
Telescope HD lets you use your phone like a telescope to better see celestial objects up close.
App: Telescope HD (Get it for Android here.) Price: Free!
Telescope HD uses your smartphone camera like a telescope, zooming in on night sky objects like the Moon, planets, and stars. This might not be the best tool with which to watch a meteor shower - since meteors only light up for a fraction of a second - but since you're outside you might as well enjoy the other beauty that the cosmos has to offer.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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