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Best places to watch Perseid meteor shower this week in the Portland metro area

The meteor shower is expected to peak Aug. 12 and 13, with the best viewing experience between 1 and 2 a.m., though it will be visible as early as 10 p.m.
Credit: Bill Ingalls, NASA via AP
In this 30-second camera exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower on Aug. 11, 2021, in West Virginia.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Perseid meteor shower is often considered the "best meteor shower of the year" — it brings a peak of 50 to 100 meteors per hour, and it's known for occasional extra-bright "fireballs." Plus, the warm weather makes for a pleasant viewing experience.

There's a big bonus this year that stargazers didn't have in 2022: No moonlight! Sky and Telescope says the Perseids will peak around Aug. 12 and 13, when the moon will be close to new.

The Perseid meteor shower is best viewed in the darkest locations, away from man-made light. The meteors can be visible starting around 10 p.m., but the best chance to see them is later in the night, between 1 and 2 a.m.

KGW meteorologist Rod Hill said the skies should be clear this weekend and into next week for Perseid meteor shower viewers.

Learn more about Perseids and meteor showers

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Rose City Astronomers and Oregon State Parks are co-hosting a watch party Saturday night to view the Perseids at Rooster Rock State Park in Corbett.

The event is free except for parking ($5 per vehicle). All ages are welcome, as are pets if they're on a leash. Plan to arrive before sunset; the event begins at 9 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m. Star maps and recommendations for astronomy apps will be provided.

Attendees should bring lawn chairs, blankets, warm clothing, snacks, water and bug spray. OMSI asks that the lights on flashlights, either traditional or on a smartphone, are covered with red electric tape. And people can bring their own telescopes and binoculars.

Check out OMSI's website for more information. OMSI suggests checking the site the day of the event to make sure there aren't any weather-related cancellations.

Saturday should be a warm but pleasant night for meteor gazing, Hill said.

"Temperatures at 9 p.m. Saturday for the star party in the gorge will be near 80 degrees," he said.

If you can't make the OMSI star party at Rooster Rock, here are some other dark-sky locations around the Portland area where people can watch the Perseids:

See other great places to go stargazing in the Portland area here.

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