07.29.14

Sierra Nevada – A Great Place to Watch Meteors this August!

If you’re looking for a dark and (not stormy) clear night to watch the meteor showers this week, then head up to your favorite spot in the Sierra Nevada in early August.  The Sierra offers crystal clear night skies with virtually no light pollution to cloud your view of two meteor showers converging this week.  That’s right – two meteor showers!

The Delta Aquariids meteor shower is currently in progress and will peak on Monday (August 4), averaging 20 meteors per hour.  Although astronomers are not sure which comet is responsible for the Delta show, you’re best viewing opportunity will be after midnight. You’ll also have a relatively moonless night through Aug 2.  As the new (“Grain”) August moon begins to takes shape, the Persied meteor shower will kick in, peaking around August 12 and August 13.  By then, the (full) moon will not be as cooperative as it outshines most of the meteors.  Still, you should be able to see some of the 100 meteors per hour the Perseid meteor shower will produce!

So if you want to really enjoy some lively meteor action, head up to the Sierra now through about August 6th when the night sky is clear and dark.  Remember to turn the lanterns down, snuff out the campfire, and put your cell phones away.  Your eyes will need some time to adjust to the dark, but once they do – the meteors will really come into focus.  Most of the Sierra campgrounds offer some great places (away from town lights), and you can also can hike a trail, or if you’re really ambitious – climb to the top of any of the thirteen 14k foot peaks for the best views.

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