ARTS

Conditions were right for viewing Perseid meteors

Lauren Steinheimer
Brad Goldpaint said he created this composite image "of all the meteors captured on August 13, 2015, during the Perseid Meteor Shower from Heart Lake in Mount Shasta. All of the meteors were captured from 12:30 am to 4:30 am, and the composite contains roughly 65 meteors."

Stargazers must have been in heaven this past week, as dark, clear skies created ideal conditions for viewing the Perseid meteor shower. Every August, the Perseid meteor shower puts on a spectacular show. This year, timing worked out just right so that the new moon on August 14 overlapped with the meteor shower’s most active days. The waning crescent moon didn’t appear in the sky until shortly before sunrise, promising a nice dark backdrop for the meteor show. According to astronomy website earthsky.org, Perseid meteors could be seen all over the world during its peak days, which occurred between August 11 through 14. The shower peaked on th morning of August 13, but meteors were visible all over Southern Siskiyou County throughout the week. Although meteors are more frequent during the early morning hours, anyone lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a rare eathgrazer during the early evening is in for a treat. Earthsky refers to these long, slow, colorful meteors as, “most exciting and memorable.” The Perseid meteor shower is famous for being the most prolific meteor shower of the year. “The annual August Perseid meteor shower probably ranks as the all-time favorite meteor shower of the year,” says earthsky.org. On a clear night during one of the peak days, up to 50 meteors per hour can be seen pouring through the sky in the northern hemisphere. It’s occurrence in late summer also makes it a favorite for stargazers. With all the beautiful, secluded camping areas and great expanses of undeveloped land, Northern California is an excellent viewing location.