Stargaze outside on a blanket or lawn chairs to get comfortable. / Burazin/Getty Images
August promises bright shooting stars. Follow these tips to make the most of this months cosmic show and learn more about astronomy:
Don't stargaze through your window
Find a spot away from urban lights.
Bring a blanket and lawn chairs to get comfortable.
Put your phone and other electronic devices away; their lighted screens make it hard for your eyes to adjust to the darkness and see the stars.
Meet up with fellow watchers
Find local astronomy clubs where you can become a member and get detailed information on public observations and times to watch the sky at go-astronomy.com/astro-club-search.htm.
Check your local observatories for open houses and other special events. For more details, go to go-astronomy.com/observatories.htm.
Form a group with friends and enjoy the meteor showers together.
Don't fret if it's cloudy
If you cant get outside or if its cloudy, there are websites and apps that will let you keep gazing. Here are a few:
The Night Sky Lite (free on iOS and Android): Identify stars, planets, galaxies and constellations.
Sky Map (free on iOS and Android): See the names of stars and planets, and find out what phase the moon is in.
Pocket Universe ($2.99 on iOS): Take a virtual tour of the universe. Learn the names of constellations, bright stars and planets. This app also offers astronomy quizzes, observation tips and virtual walks on planets.
Mobile Observatory ($4.49 on Android): Check out star maps and interactive views of the solar system. Get notifications about when lunar eclipses or planets are visible from your location.
Starmap Standard ($4.99 on iOS): View 350,000 stars with this planetarium app. You can also see what the night sky looks like in other parts of the world
Spot the Station (spotthestation.nasa.gov): Sign up for text or e-mail alerts to find out when you can view the International Space Station in your area without needing a telescope.