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Where to See The Perseid Meteor Shower In Laguna Niguel

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 a local expert.

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."

Bent said star gazers will most likely head out to Joshua Tree National Park, Anza-Borrego State Park or the back side of the San Gabriel or San Bernardino mountains for the best views. 

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.

Mel B. August 11, 2012 at 08:06 AM
This is great...thanks!
Armen Gasparian August 11, 2012 at 04:07 PM
We saw a huge orange ball of fire coming down last night. It turned direction and diapered . We did not know what it was.
Kathi August 12, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Thanks. Happen to be out in Pal springs & someone mentioned it last night during power failure but thought it wasn't time for it. If its not cloudy later will check it out & tell friends also.
Kathi August 12, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Whoops, that was supposed to be Palm Springs.
nmp August 12, 2012 at 01:13 AM
btw, what was the high speed chase about last night (Friday) in the Barnes and noble shopping center in Aliso Viejo-around 9:00pm?
nmp August 12, 2012 at 01:15 AM
what was the high speed chase about last night (Friday) in the Aliso Viejo Barnes and Noble shopping center-around 9:00pm?
Jodie August 13, 2012 at 06:42 PM
My son and I saw that too! There were two of them. They were moving, then stopped, then they moved again, and then all of a sudden disappeared.
Ap August 15, 2012 at 09:14 AM
Armen: I live in Anza at 5500 feet (in no mans land in a twenty acre neighborhood- NO city lights and my backyard all state park to Palm Desert). I saw the orange fire ball you are referring to. We have the brightest skies out here and no moon out at the time. Between 9pm and 10pm I saw 13 of THE MOST DRAMATIC, BRIGHTEST "shooting, falling stars" I have EVER seen!!! They were ENORMOUS!!! Just west of the big dipper and 10x brighter than any star or planet I've ever seen- leaving trails miles long across the sky! Went out the last couple nights and have seen many shooting stars, the ones you expect to see, but NOTHING like what I saw that night. And only have seen once before a week prior. They were shooting parallel. One even seemed to land over the mountain from high in the sky. We actually almost thought it was a UFO crash it was THAT intense. I dont know what's going on, haven't seen any other reporting on it but living out here and being an avid sky watcher, for something to be THIS unusual, either Earth was near devastating collision with some of the biggest meteors I've ever witnessed or they just happened to be out of this world!!!! Literally. Giggle You weren't alone. Best regards, fellow sky watcher.

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