The annual Perseid meteor shower is set to put on another display, peaking this weekend between 2 and 4:45AM on Saturday. Unfortunately, unlike some earlier years, this year’s show coincides with a nearly-full moon. While the light won’t prevent you from seeing the meteors, it will probably block out ones you’d otherwise be able to see – reducing the peak count to about 20-30 meteors per hour.
If you are still intent on seeing some meteors this weekend, the LA Times has info on viewing parties at Joshua Tree and Lake Tahoe. If you don’t want to travel that far, you’ll at least want to get as far away from L.A.’s light pollution as possible. In past years, I’ve had good luck staking out locations on the north side of the San Gabriels near Placerita Canyon, but those were definitely in low-moonlight nights.
In case you want to see some meteors but don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, NASA is also doing a live webcast from the Marshall Space Flight Center throughout the evening along with a webchat and question and answer session with NASA astronomers starting at 8PM Pacific on Friday night. To join the chat or see the webcasts, just head to their dedicated page around 7:30PM on Friday.
2010 Perseid Image via dominic’s pics.