It's the Perfect Time to Look for Meteor Showers

Tonight is one of the best nights for stargazing all year.

As the earth explodes with violence, the sky is exploding with falling stars.

This summer, from July 12 through August 23, the Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower is taking to the skies. As one of the longest-running and slowest-moving meteor showers around, this occasion marks the perfect opportunity to do some star-gazing and even some star-photographing.

Tonight, July 29th, the Delta Aquariid will coincide with the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower, making this one of the best times to go star-gazing

What Are Meteor Showers?

Meteor showers are comprised of small objects that burn up as they pass through the Earth's atmosphere. The showers we see are made up of meteoroids, which are very tiny objects—as small as grains of sand—that manage to send off incredible flares as they pass us by. When they catch fire and begin to cast luminescent trails behind them, they become meteors.

Like diamonds, meteoroids become meteors through intense pressure created by the crush of the earth's atmosphere as the meteor barrels through it.

How to Photograph a Meteor Shower

If you're looking to capture some of the sky's magnificence, now might be your best shot. Start by lining up your shot with something steady, like a tree or mountain, and make sure you have a clear view of the sky. Set up your camera so that it takes the same photo over and over again, and let it be for a few hours. For best results, try using the lens's infinity focus, use a wide-angle lens, set the aperture to f.28 or as low as possible, don't switch on any lights while shooting, and try to capture the same photo at least 200 times.

If you're lucky you'll wind up with photos that look something like this:

Meteor Shower

A shooting star shooting star

Perhaps you've seen photos of star-trails: those magnificent time-lapse photos that seem to contain thousands of shooting stars all bound up in one. If you're looking to create one of these on your own, try the free software StarStaX, which will allow you to drag-and-drop all your photos into one; if you've successfully captured a meteor shower, you should be able to create one of these trippy spiral-like shots.

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Myths About Shooting Stars

Shooting stars have always captivated humans, and have been the subject of many myths across time. Meteor showers generally inspire people to make wishes or predictions today, but the mythology surrounding them is vast, expansive, and varied.

One of the most ancient myths about shooting stars was recorded in Ancient Greece, but possibly dates far further back. It tells the story of Phaethon, a god who once descended to earth in a fiery chariot. He saw humanity was in chaos, and so built a great circle and set about teaching people various arts including astronomy, mathematics, metalworking, and the like; his teachings, according to some myths, gave rise to the ancient Druidic order.

The ancient Greeks believed stars were the souls of the dead, returning to make contact from the spiritual world. Some Greeks and Romans also believed that shooting stars were signs of a great forthcoming event, which could be good or bad, and others believed they were signals from the gods.

In some Central European mythology, stars are human souls, and when the fates cut the thread of life then the stars fall. Some early Christians believed that meteors were fallen angels being cast out of heaven.

The San Bushmen of northern Namibia and the Masai of Kenya and Tanzania saw meteors as good omens for a fertile seasons ahead. To other groups like !Xu Bushmen, meteors were evil spirits. The Zulu tribes have a myth that says shooting stars are celestial cattle migrating across the sky, and comet trails are muddy streaks. Some old Russian myths propose that stars are fireballs thrown by vengeful angels. Some Muslim cultures hold meteorites sacred. In the Philippines, there's a myth that says shooting stars are the souls of drunkards stumbling up in to the sky and falling down over and over. In Native American folklore, stars are associated with coming sickness, with banished demons, or with moving souls.

The Ojibwa of the upper Great Lakes region have a story about "Long Tailed Heavenly Climbing Star," a star that once came down and destroyed everyone but the Native American tribes who were warned by a spirit, and hid in mossy bogs and were saved from the heat. The myth predicts the star will return.

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Finally, we are done with 2020! Between all the highs and lows, it felt like 5 years packed into one, so I'm excited to start fresh in 2021. I'm taking my New Year's resolutions to the next level: cook more, read more, and get back to things I truly love like arts & crafts and morning runs (okay, most likely walks).

Honestly, I could go on forever about the new year, new me thing but actually getting started is my biggest hurdle. I realized that my motivation comes from my mood which directly relates to my environment … and for the past year, my house has been my habitat. So, it's not looking too great after all the wear and tear. The dirt and the mess have accumulated right under my nose.

It's not that I'm bad at it, I just feel so overwhelmed. When my house is clean, I feel much more in control and motivated, and right now it's far from it. When I was venting about my cleaning woes the other day, my friend recommended Handy.

Handy allows you to book local professional cleaners and sign up for monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly plans. Plus, you can schedule appointments at a time that works for you with availability 7 days a week from 7am-11pm. So to get me in the right headspace to tackle my goals, I'm going to be signing up for Handy. I'm looking forward to letting the experts take over.

Although having people in your home may sound a bit strange right now, Handy has rolled out the Handy Safety Standard to help promote the health and safety of the customers and professionals who use their platform. Some of these measures include requiring Pros to wear face coverings during bookings and mandatory daily in-app check-ups to verify they are in good health before claiming a booking. They even have a section on their site dedicated to keeping customers and professionals updated on the latest CDC health and safety guidance.

To top everything off, all of the Cleaning Pros booked through Handy are vetted and background checked. And you can even check out each Pro's ratings and reviews before you book.

Once my house is in order, the fresh feeling will have a domino effect on so many other areas of my life:

✔ Read More

Lying on my cozy couch without inhaling all the dust I'd chosen to ignore, despite my clear uptick in sneezing the last few months. My reading list is chock-full of thrillers and fantasy. And with my new clean slate, I've even added some books about organization.

✔ Get Cooking

Nothing makes cooking more enjoyable than a sparkling kitchen. I'm inspired by a clean space and all the new recipes I'll be whipping up in 2021 already have me drooling.

✔ More Exercise (aka walking!)

I won't feel guilty getting out for a walk on-the-daily when I know I'm not neglecting any household chores thanks to Handy. And when I come home I'm not greeted by any reminders to clean.

You can specify exactly what you want to be cleaned before your Pro arrives and if you like them, you can request to have the same Pro come every time. I can already imagine how exciting it will be to walk into my spotless space.

I cannot wait to book my cleaning through Handy so I can get my 2021 resolutions rolling. My New Year is all about my wellness and my environment plays such a big part in it. I'm signing up for bi-weekly appointments. But their plans are super flexible and if I need, I can always change to a weekly or monthly cleaning plan — sometimes they even have bookings available as soon as the next day!

With Handy, I'm leaving that rough 2020 in the dust and jumping into 2021 feeling fresh and ready-to-go.

Update: Handy is offering a limited time discount for our readers! Follow this link today to get a special offer on your first time cleaning plan.

This perfect low-key vacation is not your average camping experience.


Atlanta, Austin & San Antonio, Boston, Charlotte & Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh & Cleveland, Portland, and Washington, DC.

Getaway's outposts are a maximum 2-hour drive from these major cities.

getaway cabin all seasons

Why Getaway?

It's an escape for the always on. Leave your work, technology and worries at home, and lean into an experience that allows you to reconnect and center yourself in nature.

Each cabin features 1 (or 2) queen-sized bed as well as a full indoor bathroom, both heat and a/c, and reliable electricity. The kitchen is stocked with food staples and cookware and there is a fire pit and outdoor seating. All cabins are family-friendly and dogs are permitted.

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Booking & Price

Book through the Getaway site. Cabins fit 1 - 4 guests and cost as low as $129 a night.


Cabins are already distanced (50-150' feet apart) from one another and go through a deep disinfection process between guest stays. Check-in is contactless, and each guest accesses their cabins through a personalized key code.

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UPDATE: Plan Your Winter Escape Today With Getaway! Take $20 Off Your Stay With Code Winter20!

Given the nature of the pandemic, it can be tough to find the best ways to spend the usual festivities that New Year's Eve brings.

Luckily, if you're comfortable enough to step outside for the occasion, there are great places still open and worth visiting. Although you should always keep COVID-19 safety precautions in mind, here are three of the most stunning places to spend Near Year's Eve in the U.S.

New York City (New York)

No guide to stunning places to spend New Year's Eve in the U.S. would be complete without the presence of New York City, New York. The Times Square ball drop is a must-see annual event, though this year it will be a bit different due to the pandemic. Thankfully, the city will still be throwing an event for all to enjoy that will keep social distancing in mind and focus on bringing people together virtually.

While there might be live events for some to enjoy, none have been officially announced just yet. Even if you're enjoying the festivities virtually, there are few better places to spend this special occasion than at the tip of the NYC skyline.

New York City New Years Eve New York City New Years EveForbes

Lake Travis (Texas)

Lake Travis is a brilliant body of water in Texas that provides a versatile collection of ways to enjoy its beauty. If you'd prefer to keep your party secluded due to the pandemic, you can enjoy the evening on a boat in the waters of this lake, which is home to the famous "Devil's Cove" party destination.

If you're comfortable spending the evening in a venue that practices COVID-19 safety precautions, consider relaxing on one of the three decks on display at The Oasis. Even if you don't stick around to ring in the New Year, viewing the sunset from The Oasis is an incredible experience in itself.

Lake Travs Lake

Cape Cod (Massachusetts)

If you're looking for a quainter way to ring in the new year, consider visiting Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Aside from the cool weather and stunning scenery, when spending New Year's Eve in Cape Cod you can visit places such as the Belfry Inn & Bistro. This lovely location has a focus on good dining, stylish and comfortable living, and COVID-19 safety, all of which they put on display via their website.

If you'd prefer not to spend too much time in a restaurant or bar, you can indulge in the incredible appearance of areas like Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Simply wandering around the area and taking in the scenery before enjoying an intimate evening inside makes for an unforgettable adventure.

Cape Cod New Years Eve Cape Cod New Years

Due to the ever-changing nature of certain venues during the pandemic, be sure to regularly check-up on any venues you wish to visit. That way, you can remain in the loop on their availability, activities, and safety precautions upon arrival.