The Leonid Meteor Shower comes around once a year and this year it will peak on November 17 and 18, 2010 when there should be 15-20 meteors an hour. The best time to look for meteors is about an hour before dawn and the place to look is to the north. You need to be in a dark area so that ambient city and street light does not interfere with the view. There are several places to go to see the Leonid Meteor Shower in Pennsylvania .
One of the best places in Pennsylvania to observe astronomical events has to be Cherry Springs State Park. Unfortunately, this is 3 hours from Harrisburg . If you are a diehard astronomy lover, then it may be worth taking the long trip to this amazing location. This is the world’s second designated International Dark Sky Park. This means that Cherry Springs has natural lighting instead of being invaded with artificial lighting. For astronomy, this is great because it allows people to see the night sky much clearer. It costs approximately $25 to have a site for one night. This is a great place for observation as they have sites that you can set up in and concrete pads off of the sites to set up a telescope on. To get to this park from Harrisburg, it is a straight shot up 11/15 over to route 44.
John Rudy Park is a good location if you are looking for something closer to home. Located in York County , Pennsylvania , this is where the York County Astronomical Society uses the observatory to stargaze. That will be closed but you can still use the park to watch the meteor shower. This park is located just off route 24, just north of Springettsbury Township . This is approximately 40 minutes from Harrisburg .
Tom Tudek Memorial Park is where the Central Pennsylvania Observers go to watch the stars. This is a public park located off 322 north just past State College . This park is approximately 1.5 hours away from Harrisburg but it is a straight shot taking 322 west. It would be a nice place to watch the meteors from.
Another place to watch the meteors from is Mt. Pisgah which is located just before the Susquehanna River in Wrightsville, York County . This location is a bit of a hike, but the view is incredible and you will have a great chance at seeing the meteor shower. This mountain is located just off of route 30, approximately 40 minutes from Harrisburg .
If you decide to go to watch the meteor shower make sure to bring a blanket, a chair, some hot beverages, snacks, flashlights and warm clothing. If you have one, a portable heater would be ideal. Also bring a friend or two to help keep you company while you try to stay awake to see the meteor shower!