Perseid meteor shower to appear this week


This week will be one of the best times to watch the Perseid meteor shower, chair of Foothill College's astronomy department said.

This week the meteor shower will take place during a new moon, which is when the moon is absent from the sky, astronomy department chair Andrew Fraknoi said.

Because of the moon's absence, the moonlight won't interfere with viewing the "shooting stars," he said.

The evening of Aug. 12 through the morning of Aug. 13 will be the optimal time to see the shower, though stargazers may see more "shooting stars" the night before or the night after, according to Fraknoi.

Fraknoi said about 1 a.m. Aug. 13 will be the prime time to see the shower, but anytime after sunset Aug. 12 will be a good time to see some shooting stars.

A meteor shower has nothing to do with stars, as meteors are pieces of cosmic dust and dirt that enters the Earth's atmosphere at high speed and make a flash of light, Fraknoi said.

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Aug 10, 2015 at 11:25 am

Does anyone have any recommendations on where would be a good place to stargaze?

Like this comment
Posted by Stargazer
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 10, 2015 at 11:38 am

Any where you can get away from light pollution is the best. One of our favorite spots is Windy Hill above Portola Valley. Just get away from City lights and stare at the sky, preferably from lying down, use a blanket or a sunlounger.

Like this comment
Posted by rhody
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 10, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Parts of this article make no sense. I quote:

" a good time to see some shooting stars.
A meteor shower has nothing to do with stars, "

or they are telling me about 2 events - the meteor shower and shooting starts, in which case they've confused me totally.

Like this comment
Posted by jane
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 10, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Rhody, "Shooting stars" are not stars but pieces of meteors. That's why the article puts it in quotes when first used. We all grew up calling them shooting stars and thought that meant they were stars but they're not.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Weather looks to be perfect, but good luck escaping lights around here. At those hours all our parks, school grounds and open spaces are illegal to enter.

That said, here's something I've never tried: an after-hours astronomy permit from the open space district for parking up Page Mill at the Monte Bello Preserve -- Web Link -- still looks like they kick you out at 2 a.m., about the peak time for meteor showers. Probably easier to take pot-luck at some turnout on Skyline Boulevard. @Stargazer, is Windy Hill parking legal, or just don't-ask, don't-tell?

None of this should discourage anyone from simply going out in their backyard sometime after midnight Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and taking a look. Most of residential Palo Alto is dark enough as long as there's no glaring streetlight in your face. Might take 15 minutes before seeing a meteor, allowing time for eyes to adjust.

2 people like this
Posted by casual AF fan
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Andy Fraknoi.

Any who has grown up listening to bay area radio (like 740) knows the name AND the voice!

Glad he's still kicking.

Awesome job Andy!!

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