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2021 Perseids: The Best Meteor Shower of the Year (Peak: August 11-13)

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2023 Perseids: The Best Meteor Shower of the Year (San Francisco Bay Area Viewing Guide)

Get out in the open, away from city lights to see the annual Perseids Meteor Shower, the most beloved meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere.

The annual Perseids meteor shower is the glittery result of Earth passing through debris left behind by a comet, so typically you should expect to see up to 40 meteors per hour as long as you are away from light pollution and the clouds stay away.

2023 Perseids Meteor Shower
August 11-13, 2023 | Very late evening to just before dawn
Predicted Peak: The night of August 11-12 (also night of Aug 12-13)
NASA’s recommendation: Make plans to stay up late the night of Aug. 11 or wake up early the morning of Aug. 12. The Perseids are best seen between about 3:30-4:30am your local time and dawn.

Is 2023 a Good Year to View the Perseids?
In 2022 there was a full moon making it harder to see the meteors, so this year with a waning crescent that’s not too bright, it shouldn’t interfere with meteor viewing. The nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13 will both be good opportunity to see the Perseids.

The Perseids are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere during the pre-dawn hours, though at times it is possible to view meteors from this shower as early as 10pm

NASA’s 2023 Predictions

  • Very Dark “Country” Skies – expect to see 40-ish meteors an hour during the peak
  • Dark (“Suburb”) Skies – expect to see a meteor every 6-7 minutes during the peak (About 10 an hour)
  • City Skies w/ lots of light pollution – if you’re right in the city you might only see 2 meteors per hour during the peak
  • Direction: No need to look in a specific direction. Meteors will streak across the entire sky.

Can I only watch the peak? Nope! Although the peaks are the best times (as long as there’s no moonlight), annual meteor showers typically last weeks, not days… building up gradually and then falling off rapidly. You can definitely catch them in advance.

Why is this meteor shower one of the favorites? It’s a rich meteor shower, and it’s steady. These meteors frequently leave persistent trains.

Perseid meteors tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn.

The Best Places to Watch in the Bay Area? For the best viewing, make sure you get away from city lights. 7×7 has a great write up of the best places in the Bay Area for stargazing including Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park, Lands End in San Francisco, Mt. Hamilton in San Jose, the Chabot Space Center in Oakland (which has free telescope stargazing events on most Fridays and Saturdays) and many others.

Read more at earthsky.org and NASA

Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.

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Categories: **Annual Event**, *Top Pick*, Celestial Events, East Bay, In Person, North Bay, Peninsula, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, South Bay