How, when and where to watch August's Perseid meteor shower

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As summer comes to a close, astronomy fans have one last hurrah to look forward to: the Perseid meteor shower.

Each August, the Swift-Tuttle comet puts on a vivid show for onlookers as its orbit crosses Earth’s path, leaving behind debris that streaks across the sky.

According to NASA, 15 to 20 meteors an hour will be visible during the shower’s peak nighttime hours, from early Monday to dawn on Tuesday. The display will have to contend with some extra light from the full moon, which will wash out part of the shower, according to NASA.

It will be easiest to see meteors between 2 a.m. and dawn, though 9 p.m. will mark the start of showtime for most nationwide.

Tips from NASA for successful viewing include:

Find a spot to view the meteor shower that is away from bright lights.

Pack your patience and try not to go on your phone or look at any light, as it will be easier to spot meteors if your eyes are adjusted to the darkness.

It may take your eyes up to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness, so if you have time, get to your viewing location a bit early to really take advantage of the spectacle.

The Robert Ferguson Observatory at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park will not be holding any viewing events. But the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland will host a viewing party at 3 a.m. on Monday on its observation deck with astronomers ready to provide their knowledge on the shower. Tickets are $8.

If you would rather avoid chilly Bay Area nights, watch along on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page as they broadcast the shower live from Huntsville, Alabama starting at 6 p.m. (PDT) Monday and continuing into the early hours of Tuesday.

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