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See the stunning Perseid meteor shower in Wadi Rum, Jordan

starry night sky during the perseid meteor shower

Daytime wonders and nighttime spectacles

Wadi Rum’s beauty unfolds around the clock. By day, admire the towering sandstone cliffs carved by millennia of wind and weather. Hike hidden canyons, discover ancient inscriptions, and be mesmerized by the vastness of the desert.

At night, a blanket of stars explodes overhead, impossible to see from any city. Enjoy the billions of stars, discover famous constellations, and admire the beauty and vastness of the universe.

If you are lucky or planned for it, you can visit Wadi Rum during a meteor shower. The breathtaking sight of meteors lighting up the night sky is unbeatable. So, get ready for a memorable desert adventure!

Table of Contents

Your essential guide to the Perseid meteor shower

This complete guide is all you need to fully enjoy the Perseid meteor shower in Wadi Rum, Jordan. We’ll explore everything from the science behind these stunning natural light displays to the specific details of the Perseid shower itself. And most importantly, we’ll explain why Wadi Rum is undeniably the best place to witness this extraordinary astronomical event.

What is a meteor shower?

Have you ever gazed at the night sky and been captivated by a sudden streak of light cutting through the darkness? Those brief bursts of light are meteors. They are commonly called “shooting stars.” But do you know what they exactly are?

Meteor showers occur when Earth hurtles through the debris field left behind by comets or asteroids. These celestial bodies are cosmic time capsules, remnants of our solar system’s formation. As they travel around the sun, they shed bits of rock, ice, and dust along their path. When our planet plows through this cosmic trail, these tiny particles slam into our atmosphere at high speeds, burning up and creating the streaks of light we see as meteors.

Wadi Rum gears up for the Perseid display

While we are fortunate to witness various meteor showers throughout the year, certain ones truly stand out. Here in Wadi Rum, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Perseid meteor shower. This one is famous for its abundance of shooting stars and dazzling displays.

The celestial spectacle of the Perseid meteor shower

The Perseid meteor shower lights up our night skies every year from mid-July to late August. The peak time to see the most shooting stars is August 9th to 14th. And the highest numbers are visible on August 11th, 12th, and 13th. During these nights, you can witness up to 100 shooting stars per hour streaking across the sky!

The Perseids exist because of the comet Swift-Tuttle. This giant icy comet completes one orbit around the sun every 133 years. The last orbit was back in 1992. So, its next orbit will be around 2126! Something most of us probably won’t live to experience. But until then, we can marvel at the fabulous meteor shower that the current trail of dust and debris continues to create.

Seeing the Perseids in Wadi Rum

Imagine this: You’re comfortably seated on a Bedouin mattress with a cup of Bedouin tea. Where are you? You’re in the heart of the Wadi Rum desert. Surrounded by towering sandstone mountains sculpted by millennia of wind and vast valleys. A mesmerizing blanket of stars unfolds above you as darkness falls after a warm summer day. And the Milky Way stretches majestically across the clear, inky sky. Then, a streak of light shoots across the sky, followed by another, and another. This is the magic of witnessing the Perseid meteor shower in Wadi Rum.

Wadi Rum: a prime location for the meteor showers

Here’s why Wadi Rum stands out as the perfect location to experience this celestial phenomenon.

Untamed darkness

Unlike many light-polluted cities, Wadi Rum boasts some of the darkest skies on Earth. The minimal light interference lets you see many more meteors than in urban areas.

Crystal-clear skies

Wadi Rum desert is known for its dry climate and many crystal-clear nights during summer. Sure, during the rest of the year sometimes cloudy weather conditions limit our view, but we still have more clear nights than overcast ones.

Favorable temperatures

The warm summer nights are perfect for stargazing. Spring and autumn evenings are great, too. And winter evenings can be enjoyable for watching shooting stars when bundled up in warm layers.

Unparalleled atmosphere

The vastness and tranquility of the desert create an unparalleled setting for stargazing. It enables you to fully appreciate the wonders of the universe. Imagine yourself gazing upwards, feeling humbled by the immensity of the cosmos as meteors streak across the desert sky.

Planning your Perseids adventure in Wadi Rum

Get ready for an unforgettable experience with two fantastic options to view the Perseid meteor shower.

view on our Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum

Our comfortable camp

Our cozy, comfortable, and clean Bedouin camp is in the heart of the Wadi Rum protected area. After dinner, we dim the few outside lights to enhance your stargazing experience. Unwind under the expansive night sky and be mesmerized by the celestial light show. Afterward, you can sleep in a tent or camp outdoors under the stars to see more shooting stars if you wake up at night.

sleeping under the stars in our cave in Wadi Rum desert

Our 'cave'

Sleeping at our ‘cave’ is perfect if you’re not concerned about bathroom facilities and want an immersive experience. Following dinner, you can take a leisurely stroll to the nearby plateau. It is an exceptional place for observing the expansive desert sky and seeing shooting stars. At night, you will be sleeping outdoors under the stars. It's like sleeping in a natural IMAX theater, treating you to an all-night show you won't want to miss.

Packing for the Perseids: essentials for your stargazing adventure

Witnessing a meteor shower requires minimal equipment. Here’s what you’ll need to ensure a comfortable and rewarding experience.

Appropriate clothing

Desert nights can get surprisingly chilly, even in summer. Because of this temperature drop, packing an extra layer of clothing is essential. Bringing the right clothes for a stay in the desert will keep you comfortable.

Mattress

You also need something to lay on. But no worries, we provide comfortable mattresses for you. Stretch out and enjoy the breathtaking view of the stars, the Milky Way, and, inshallah, many shooting stars.

Sleeping bag

A sleeping bag is essential for a good night’s sleep when you camp under the stars. But when you decide to stay at our camp or ‘cave,’ you won’t need to bring one yourself. We provide a mattress, sleeping bag, and liner for our outside sleeping guests.

Camera (optional)

Taking pictures of meteors is tricky because they streak across the sky so fast. But some photographers get lucky and capture amazing photos. If you love photography and want to try it, bring your camera and a sturdy tripod to take long exposures.

Important note

Binoculars and telescopes are excellent for gazing at distant stars. But they are not helpful during a meteor shower. They narrow your view and thus limit the number of meteors you can see. Your naked eyes are the best tools to catch the dazzling celestial fireworks.

Tips for maximizing your shooting star experience

Here are some insider tips from us to maximize your meteor shower experience.

Find a comfortable position

Get comfortable! Sit back or lie on one of the mattresses provided and scan the sky. The more comfortable you are, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy the meteor shower.

Let your eyes adjust to the darkness

It takes your eyes approximately 30 minutes to adjust to darkness. Avoid using bright lights like phones or flashlights. Allow your eyes to adjust naturally for optimal shooting star visibility.

image with the radiate of the perseid meteor shower

Look towards Perseus

While the Perseid meteors seem to come from the Perseus constellation, there are other places to look! If you focus only on Perseus, you will miss some meteors. Here's the trick: Think of Perseus as a starting point, not the whole show. To see the most meteors, look at Perseus and a large part of the surrounding north sky. The wider you look, the more shooting stars you'll have a chance of catching!

Embrace patience

Shooting stars don’t appear constantly. Relax, enjoy the starry night sky, and keep your eyes peeled for those streaks of light. Sometimes, patience is rewarded with breathtaking sights.

Share the experience

Gathering with your loved ones to watch a meteor shower can make the experience even more special. Make it a group adventure with friends or family, and create lasting memories under the starry night sky together!

Wish upon a star

Across cultures and religions, shooting stars have different meanings. Some consider them divine or mystical entities, while others believe they influence our lives. We believe shooting stars offer protection from evil spirits called jinn. Regardless of what you believe, feel free to make a wish for good luck!

A note about the 2024 Perseid meteor shower

The Perseid meteor shower peaks on August 11th, 12th, and 13th. During this time, the moon will be around half-full. The moon’s brightness affects the visibility of faint shooting stars, as the night sky won’t be completely dark.

To maximize your viewing experience, consider staying up late or waking up early. You might witness a more spectacular shooting star display during these darker hours.

Beyond the Perseids: exploring other meteor showers throughout the year

Many people love the Perseid meteor shower. But other meteor showers also provide stunning displays. Let’s quickly look at some of the most famous meteor showers. These are all visible in the Northern Hemisphere.

Quadrantids (peak in early January)

Known for their fast and bright shooting stars, the Quadrantids offer a chance to witness a celestial show early in the year.

Lyrids (peak in late April)

The Lyrids offer a moderate rate of meteors. But this shower provides the chance to see some fireballs that leave glowing trails behind them.

Eta Aquariids (peak in early May)

These meteors are slow, colorful streaks, adding a touch of vibrancy to the night sky.

Delta Aquariids (peak in late July)

This is another shower known for its slow-moving shooting stars with colorful tails. The Delta Aquariids provide a chance to witness a celestial light show in the summer months.

Draconids (peak in early October)

This shower can be unpredictable. However, it can potentially have very high meteor rates under ideal conditions. If you’re lucky, you might witness a dramatic display of meteors streaking across the sky.

Orionids (peak in late October)

The Orionids are known for their fast and bright meteors. They often leave beautiful glowing trails behind them. Witnessing this shower offers a chance to see shooting stars from the famous Orion constellation.

Geminids (peak in mid-December)

Often considered the best meteor shower of the year. The Geminids offer very high rates of shooting stars, with potentially over one hundred visible per hour.

Join us for an unforgettable desert adventure and night under the stars

Fawaz and our guests on the jeep tour

We at Wadi Rum Nomads deeply love our desert. And we wish to share its beauty and wonders with curious travelers like you. Our goal is to provide an experience that combines nature, adventure, and an authentic connection to our Bedouin heritage.

We offer two options for a full-day tour to explore our magical desert before your night under the stars. You can join our jeep tour to see the stunning landscapes and explore ten famous attractions. Or you can opt for the Wadi Sabet tour. Then, amongst others, you will hike in canyons and wadis in the lesser-visited south of Wadi Rum.

After an exciting day of exploration, we’ll go to our ‘cave’ or campsite. There, you relax and enjoy a delicious Bedouin dinner. Throughout the evening, you’ll have the perfect chance to admire the beauty of the night sky and see the meteor shower. Whether you’re a seasoned stargazer or new to astronomy, this experience promises to be memorable.

Book with us today and get ready for a fantastic adventure into nature’s wonders!

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