Summer ushers in the beginning of meteor-watching season – California News

There is something quite peaceful and humbling about a star-filled sky on a clear, moonless night. Adding the flash of a streaking meteor is like the final note of a captivating symphony.

There are big and little meteor showers throughout the year, but I consider summer the beginning of meteor season because the evenings are warm and pleasant, the brilliant Milky Way hangs in the night sky and it’s just more pleasant to be outside.

Unlike many activities, there is nothing more than a folding chair or blanket required to become a full participant, so pack a picnic dinner, head out to a dark sky location and enjoy the view.

One of the brighter annual meteor showers is the Perseids arriving next month. Tiny bits of debris from the Swift-Tuttle Comet will enter our atmosphere, producing up to 100 meteors per hour for several nights, peaking on the night of Aug. 12-13. This year a bright moon will unfortunately make viewing a bit more difficult than it would be on a moonless night.

Because of the quality and number of meteors, even casual observers put the Perseid shower on their annual calendar. The 2018 display should be spectacular because there will be no moon.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is one of the best night sky viewing locations, but temperatures in August can be punishing even at night, so you might consider other locations such as Palomar Mountain or the higher…

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