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A Guide to Skywatching: Perseids, Geminids, Devil Comet, and Supermoons

Skywatching is a timeless hobby that connects us with the cosmos. Whether you're an experienced stargazer or a curious beginner, witnessing celestial events can be an awe-inspiring experience. Here’s a guide on when, how, and tips for observing the Perseids, Geminids, Devil Comet, and Supermoons.

Skywatching - Jeswin Thomas
Skywatching - Jeswin Thomas

1. Perseids Meteor Shower

When to Watch: The Perseids peak annually around August 11-13. The shower runs from mid-July to late August, but the peak nights offer the best display.

How to Watch:

  • Best Time: Late evening to pre-dawn hours, with the peak viewing time around 2 a.m. local time.

  • Location: Find a dark, open sky away from city lights. Elevated areas with a wide horizon are ideal.


  • Comfort: Bring a reclining chair or a blanket to lie on.

  • Eyes Adjustment: Allow 20-30 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the darkness.

  • Gear: No special equipment is needed, though a star map app can help identify other celestial objects.

2. Geminids Meteor Shower

When to Watch: The Geminids peak around December 13-14, with visibility from December 4-17.

How to Watch:

  • Best Time: Peak viewing is typically between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time.

  • Location: As with the Perseids, seek a dark site away from artificial lights.


  • Warm Clothing: December nights can be very cold, so dress in layers.

  • Moon Phase: Check the lunar calendar. The absence of a bright moon will enhance visibility.

  • Patience: Geminids are known for their bright and numerous meteors, often appearing at a rate of 120 meteors per hour.

3. Devil Comet (Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks)

When to Watch: Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, often called the "Devil Comet" due to its periodic brightening, is expected to be visible in 2024. Exact dates can vary, so staying updated through astronomical forecasts is essential.

How to Watch:

  • Best Time: Early morning hours before sunrise, when the sky is darkest.

  • Location: A clear, unobstructed view of the horizon away from light pollution.


  • Telescope: While binoculars can offer a glimpse, a small telescope will provide a better view.

  • Observation Apps: Use stargazing apps to locate the comet accurately in the sky.

  • Updates: Follow astronomical news for precise visibility windows and observing conditions.

4. Supermoon

When to Watch: Supermoons occur when the full moon coincides with its closest approach to Earth (perigee). There are typically three to four supermoons each year.

How to Watch:

  • Best Time: Shortly after moonrise and just before sunrise, when the moon appears larger and more colorful near the horizon.

  • Location: Any location with a clear view of the horizon. Urban locations can also offer stunning views of the supermoon against city skylines.


  • Photography: Use a camera with a good zoom lens to capture detailed images. A tripod will help stabilize your shots.

  • Moonrise/Sunset Times: Check local listings for exact moonrise and sunset times.

  • Scenery: Incorporate landmarks or natural scenery to enhance your viewing experience and photography.

General Tips for Skywatching

  • Weather: Always check the weather forecast. Clear skies are crucial for a successful observation.

  • Local Astronomy Clubs: Join a local astronomy club or community. They often organize group observations and can provide expert advice.

  • Prepare in Advance: Plan your observing session, including travel to a dark site, and pack essentials like snacks, water, and extra batteries for your equipment.

Skywatching not only lets you witness spectacular celestial events but also offers a chance to reflect on the vastness and beauty of our universe. Happy stargazing!


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