On the night of Sunday, August 12th, the Swift-Tuttle comet will put on an extraordinary show. When the Earth plows into the comets’ wake, tiny sand and pea-size bits of debris hit our atmosphere at 132,000 miles per hour, streaking across the sky in what we call the Perseid Meteor Shower.
The yearly occasion is the perfect opportunity for astrology enthusiasts to find a rural area and go stargazing. With the new moon, the event is expected to bring a show for people who stay up late to view the night sky, with the opportunity to see up to 60 meteors. The shower should be at its peak between 11pm and 3am.
“This shower is routinely one of the best and most popular meteor showers of the year and is known for very bright and long-lasting meteors,” AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said.
For us in Northern California, the wildfire smoke may cause issues for people trying to view the show. Historic Northern California fires are creating hazardous air conditions and obstructing the view of the sky through much of the area.
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Some areas may be able to see the show, particularly on the coast, since much of the smoke is moving into the east side of the state. The Humboldt coast currently has the best air quality and sky visibility, but of course, that could change come Sunday.
The best way to see the meteors is to go to a remote location devoid of city smog and bright lights. Here are some of the best photos of the Perseid Meteor Shower in Northern California over recent years: