The best meteor shower of the year peaks early Thursday

The best meteor showers of the year are expected to peak this week, and while fog will likely obscure the cosmic show on the coast, you should be able to see the fireballs blazing from higher elevations and depths inside.

The annual Perseid meteor shower will reach its height early on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 12, said Gerald McKeegan, adjunct astronomer with Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland. The best time to see the Perseids is forecast to be from 11 pm, 11 August, until 3 am, 12 August.

McKeegan wrote in an email “The moon will set early in the evening on the 11th, so we will have dark skies and potentially very good viewing conditions.” “Under ideal conditions, observers can see up to 100 meteorites per hour.”

The Perseids brighten the sky each year around mid-August when Earth passes through clouds of debris left to commit the Swift-Tuttle, and the meteor shower appears in radiation to the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky.

McKeegan wrote: “As the comet orbits the Sun, it leaves behind a trail of dust, rocks and pebbles that form a stream of particles that also revolves around the Sun.” “As these particles enter and burn in Earth’s atmosphere, we experience a meteor shower.”

For better views of the Perseid meteor shower, you’ll want to find a clear-sky site that is far from city lights.

The fog is forecast to roll inland areas across the San Francisco Bay Area this week, with forecasts David King said you may have to travel as far east as Livermore or even into the Central Valley to see the show.

The fog is expected up to 1,500 to 2,000 feet deep, King said, so Mount Tampalpais at 2,600 feet in Marine and Mount Diablo at 3,800 feet in East Bay are both good options.

“Forget the binoculars or telescopes,” McKeegan wrote. “Meteorites are best seen with the naked eye as they track across large parts of the sky. Although meteorites will appear from the east, from the constellation Perseus, meteorites can appear in any part of “So it is best to find a comfortable position from which you can see large parts of the sky. Lying on a blanket from a grass field on a mountain top would provide the opportunity for greater observation.”

King added that the weather forecast will likely change slightly in the week, and anyone wishing to catch the blazing fireballs should check the forecast Wednesday to get a clear idea of ​​how far the fog will push inside.

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