People of Cairo, lo and behold, we’re about to witness a meteor shower!
We will be witnessing the Geminid Meteor shower; an annual astronomical display that’s been visible from our planet every December for more than 200 years.
The Geminid Meteor shower has already started from December 7th, and will end on the 16th. However, it will be peaking on the 14th and the 15th of December.
While Cairo might not be the best place to watch the meteor shower due to the light pollution, you can still make the best of it.
Below are a few tips and places to see the showers this weekend!
Know when to go
While the shower has already been happening, there are peak-days, and peak timings as well. We have a quick guide for you to see when it will be peaking.
Find the right spot
This is the tricky part; finding a place to stargaze in the city that never sleeps.
We do, however, have a few recommendations.
Wadi Degla Protectorate
Wadi Degla is the poster child of stargazing in Cairo. That said, you have to stay overnight since you will not be allowed to enter or leave at night. You can have a barbecue with some friends, and party until the stars are out. Just make sure you have extra jackets and blankets – we’re sure you’ll need them.
Their working hours go from 6 am to 5 pm.
Virginia at Mokattam
While the place is not the fanciest restaurant you can go to, the view is unparalleled. Located at the very top of Mokattam, you will be able to get an overview of the city and see some of the stars.
Head to Fayoum
While Fayoum is another city, it’s still very close to Cairo. Fayoum is the best location to check the shower, and you can just take your car without having to go through the hassle of booking a hotel.
All you’ll need is good music, company, and some snacks and drinks.
Why not head to Sinai?
If you’re feeling adventurous, pack your bags and head to Dahab or Newiba’a. Both destinations are affordable, and worth the travel.
Download a stargazing app
This is very important since they will lead you to the direction you should be looking at. There are numerous applications, but we recommend Skyview for iOS. However, we also recommend downloading as many apps as you can before going, and see which one you find fit.
That said, we suggest you use it as soon as you arrive to find the direction of the shower, then let it go. Why? Up to the net point…
Lower your phone’s lighting
Unless you really need your phone, don’t use it. But assuming you need to, make sure to lower the lighting so your eyes don’t start to readapt once more.
Take your time to adapt
Scientifically, it takes about 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the darkness. Since we’re in Cairo, we will probably need more time to adapt. Give yourself at least an hour before you’re able to see any shooting stars.
Enjoy the beauty of nature
Unless you’re a professional astrophotographer, we recommend putting your camera down and enjoying the view. We guarantee you a 100% that there is no way you can capture this beauty on your phone, or camera, so take the time to keep it in your memory.