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Watching Tonight's Meteor Shower? Here's Some Information

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Photo by aresauburn™ via Flickr


Photo by aresauburn™ via Flickr
The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak tonight and last through the early morning hours. Unlike last year, this year will be moon-free, meaning more chances to see the spectacle. But like last year, Los Angeles still has light pollution -- a lot of it.

"Those wishing to observe the shower should go to a dark sky location away from city lights," recommends Anthony Cook, who writes the weekly Sky Report for the Griffith Observatory, which closes along with Griffith Park at 10 p.m. tonight.

LAist recommends spots in the western Santa Monica Mountains (Mulholland Highway between Las Virgenes and Kanan, for example) or in the outskirts of the Santa Clarita Valley (dark roads in Castaic or along the 126 Highway towards Ventura).

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If you have any spots, leave them in the comments section.

As for details about tonight's shower, we'll let Cook take the reigns:

One of the eagerly anticipated astronomical highlights every summer is the Perseid Meteor shower. The shower should peak on Thursday night through Friday morning, August 12/13. This year will be moon-free during meteor watching time, which runs from midnight to 4:45 a.m., P.D.T.-the start of dawn. The numbers of meteors usually increase as dawn approaches, but the best way to see what happens is to watch for as long as possible. Where you watch matters as light pollution or obstructions to a clear view will reduce the numbers that you see. This ideally should be about one per minute. Consider a trip to the mountains or desert to get the best view. Use a deck chair or chaise lounge to look a little east or northeast of straight up, and dress warmly. You can make a scientific contribution by counting the numbers of meteors that you see; details can be found on the homepage of the American Meteor Society, LLC - http://www.amsmeteors.org