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San Diego meteor shower; peak of Perseid

SAN DIEGO — The best meteor shower of the year is expected to peak over San Diego County this weekend, according to NASA.

Streaking across the night sky — once again — the annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to put on a celestial show Friday, Saturday and Sunday. NASA experts say upwards to 40 Perseids an hour could be seen before dawn during peak hours on the night of Aug. 12.

This increase in activity will come as Earth passes through the dustiest debris of a 16-mile across comet known as Swift-Tuttle. To put that into perspective, the driving distance from downtown San Diego to El Cajon is just over that.

This year may prove better luck for sky gazers since the waning crescent moon will allow for better viewing compared to last year’s bright full Moon. Those hoping to catch this meteor shower may still want to head away from the bright lights of downtown and the suburbs.

For those on the coast, you may want to head east to prevent a sky block from the marine layer. The county’s mountains, deserts and valleys may present the best conditions this weekend.

Here’s some ideas for places to go to watch the annual Perseid meteor shower:

— Iron Mountain (Poway)

— Mount Woodson (between Poway and Ramona)

— Jess Martin Park (Julian)

— Otay Lakes County Park (Chula Vista)

— Mount Laguna (Cleveland National Forest)

— Cowles Mountain (San Diego)

As for viewing tips per NASA, give your eyes about half an hour to adapt to the dark, avoid looking at your cell phone, lie on your back and look away from the Moon.

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