How to view a meteor shower

August 25, 2015, 12:12 p.m.

This gorgeous night sky photo was taken in Borrego Springs during the Perseid meteor shower. You can see a couple trails of meteors as they zoomed through the sky during the photo exposure. The Perseid meteor shower provides a beautiful show each summer, and this year peaked in mid-August. Star gazers from all over headed out to the darkest skies they could find to watch.

If you missed the height of this shower, don't worry. There are others you can catch this year, and it's not too difficult to do.

The first thing you need to do is to look up when meteor showers are happening. For instance, Perseids meteor showers happens every year between mid-July and mid-August. You can check out StarDate for a chart of other showers during the year.

Once you know when you can see the most meteors, choose a night with cloud-free skies and travel out to an area well away from city lights. A mile or two outside of town won't be dark enough because the glow from the city will still dim the stars. If you want a great view, you want to travel way, way outside of the city. State and national parks are ideal.

When at your location, lay out a blanket, pop open the thermos of hot chocolate, and enjoy the view. During some showers you will see the bright dash of a shooting star every few minutes.

Here's a video from California Academy of Sciences that explains just what's happening when we see a meteor shower and why we see them at certain times of the year:

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