It's that time of year: The annual Perseid meteor shower has begun and you might be able to catch a glimpse right here at home in Laguna Niguel.
The annual event will last until Aug. 23, with the peak viewing times being Aug. 11 and 12, after midnight.
"The meteor shower will be hard to see from here, due to the light pollution. If you can get to a dark area with some elevation, perhaps the area up around the top of Pacific Island Dr., you might be able to see a few meteors," says Laguna Niguel resident, Richard Bent, who spent more than 20 years working on satellites and rockets for the aerospace industry.
The area Bent mentions is one of the premier summits in Laguna Niguel. It is located at the "view point," which is just off Pacific Island Drive on Talavera Drive.
The meteor shower is actually part of a comet called Swift-Tuttle and has been observed for about 2,000 years, he explained.
"Also, the best place to view meteor showers is anywhere away from lights and cloud cover. Usually, the best places to see the meteor shower and stars, and planets in general is the desert or mountain areas that are away from lights."
With clear light free skys, not only meteor showers, but satellites and the Milky Way Galaxy are clearly seen, he added.
Here are some other tidbits about the event according to ABC.com:
Where to look? The whole sky, actually. The shooting stars will seem to come from the constellation Perseus, in the northeastern sky. But they may appear anywhere as quick streaks.
Where not to look? Don't look at the moon, or anything else bright. You want your eyes to get really, really used to the dark.
Where should I go? Any place will do, but darker is better, with a nice expanse of open sky. Get away from city lights if you can.
Special equipment needed: None. Just your eyes.
Can I take pictures? Yes, you'll need a camera with manual settings, though, and a tripod is a must. Set your lens to the widest possible setting. Set the ISO (sensitivity to light) to a high number, such as 400 or 1600. And -- this is critical -- your exposures need to be l-o-n-g. Experiment. An exposure of 30 seconds might give you a field of stars with a couple of streaks across it. Or you might try for an hour (close down the f/stop) and get very little.
Send us your photos if you get lucky and see anything.