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5 reasons to watch shooting stars in Wadi Rum

watching shooting stars in wadi rum
Being born and raised in the Wadi Rum desert, where artificial light is rare, we are used to the darkness of the night. Due to our arid desert climate, we have clear skies most of the year. As night falls, the sky turns black—a vast, dark canopy with thousands of stars shining their light on us. Especially in the days before and after the new moon, the starry night sky is marvelous. To us, this is an ‘ordinary’ but beautiful sight. Now and then, when we watch the stars, we see a shooting star. In August, November, and December, during the meteor showers of Perseid, Leonid, and Geminid, we can see up to tens of shooting stars per hour. A spectacular phenomenon of nature. In this blog, we tell you about shooting stars and why you should watch shooting stars in Wadi Rum.

The most common misconception about shooting stars

The most common misconception about shooting stars is that they are related to stars. Besides sharing the name, there is no connection at all. Stars are quite far away from our planet. It is not likely to one will ever reach earth at all. Shooting stars are, in fact, meteors. Space dust and rocks that are originating from asteroids and comets. The dust or rock enters our atmosphere at a very high speed. The resistance of our atmosphere heats the rock rapidly. The bright streak that you see in the sky is not the rock burning. It is the glowing hot air as the hot rock passed through the atmosphere.

What is a meteor shower?

Comets and asteroids orbit the sun, just like our planet does. Planets have a nearly circular orbit. Comets and asteroids have a more lop-sided orbit. As they get closer to the sun, some of its surface boils off. The released dust and rock strew along with the comet or asteroid. When our planet passes through these orbits, dust and rocks enter our atmosphere, causing meteor showers.

Wishing on a star

Every culture and religion around the world has its legends or beliefs about shooting stars. To some, they are gods, in other angels, fairies, or ancestors. Some believe shooting stars represent an omen. While others believe shooting stars are the gods contacting us. Astrologers think that the stars govern our lives. We Bedouins are Muslims. We believe shooting stars protect from ear dropping jinns.

Most legends and beliefs assume that shooting stars have to do with some supernatural power. When people wish upon a star, they hope that the supernatural power hears their wish and makes it come true.

Perseids shooting stars and the moon 2017

Each year from mid-July until mid-August, we can see the shooting stars from Perseid. This year, the peak is between the 9th and 13th of August. How much we can see from this extraordinary phenomenon largely depends on the moon. The full moon is on the 7th of August, which makes it harder to see the shooting stars. Luckily the moon sets between 10 and 11 PM, which gives you the option to see them later at night. The best time for watching is just before dawn on the 13th of August. The website timeanddate.com offers excellent information on the Perseid and other meteor showers.

Why watching August's shooting stars in Wadi Rum?

  1. Our night sky is very dark, as Wad Rum desert is far away from any urban places. Our desert is one of those dark places on our planet.
  2. The use of artificial light in Wadi Rum is minimal. We limit the use as much as possible. In the desert, we only use flashlights, candles, and fire.
  3. Good weather conditions are critical as clouds prevent us from seeing the shooting stars. In summer, almost all of the days and nights, we have clear skies.
  4. Our night temperatures are around 25 degrees Celsius—the ideal temperature to lay on a mattress and watch the stars.
  5. In the daytime, you can enjoy our unearthly desert, and during the night, you watch the starry night sky and see the shooting stars.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Why should you join one of our tours?

  1. We offer bivouac tours. We sleep in a ‘cave’ (more an overhanging rock) somewhere in the protected area. From our spot, we have fantastic sky views. It is like being front row in a theater.
    Our camp offers similar options for watching the stars. So, if you prefer comfort, you can opt for a tent in our camp.
  2. Watching the shooting stars is best just to lay down, relax, and watch the beautiful starry night sky. We put your mattress in the perfect place to watch the shooting stars.
  3. We wake you up a few hours before the sun rises. This time is best for watching the shooting stars. If you prefer only to watch it late at night, this is fine with us too.

Watching shooting stars can be done on all tours except the 1-day jeep tour and 1-day camel ride. Booking your trip is easy; just use our online booking form.

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