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Arts and Entertainment

Watch Tonight's Spectacular Perseid Meteor Shower At This Star Party

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Perseid meteor shower as seen from Azusa Canyon (Photo by Mulling It Over via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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Tonight's Perseid Meteor shower is expected to be totally spectacular and you can catch a great view at a star party in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The annual August meteor shower—the brightest of the year—is considered one of the most impressive natural light shows, where you can see up to 100 meteors streak across the sky. And this year's show should be especially cool to check out as the peak—between Wednesday night and Thursday morning—coincides with the new moon, so it will be much easier to see with no moon in the sky. Of course, L.A.'s light pollution doesn't make for great star-gazing, which is why you should grab a blanket and head up to the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve in West Hills (aka the old Ahmanson Ranch) to check them out tonight.

Far enough from the city lights—but not too far for a school night—the preserve is a great spot to enjoy a, ahem, stellar view of the shooting stars. The star party kicks off at 10 p.m., according to the L.A. Times, and there will also be a telescope on hand for those who want to peep Saturn, too. The party will meet at the trailhead for the preserve by Victory Boulevard. If you take the 101, get off at the Valley Circle Blvd. and head northeast. Turn left on Victory Blvd. and follow it to the end until you reach the parking lot.

Bring friends, bring snacks and get ready to "ohhh" and "ahhh" over and over again.

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If you can't make it out to the old Ahmanson Ranch or anywhere else far enough from the city lights, you can also watch NASA's livestream of the shower starting at 7 p.m. PT tonight. Or you can head to the preserve on Friday night at 8 p.m. for one of their summer stargazing parties. The Perseids aren't expected to be as visible, but you'll still learn plenty about stars and constellations while chilling out at a beautiful preserve.