Meteor Spotting

Dave and I forgot to go out and look for meteors last night, which was predicted to be the peak night for the Perseids. But now it looks like tonight may be even more active than last night. People in parts of the earth that are dark right now are seeing a much higher rate of meteors than anyone saw last night, so we’re hoping that that will still be true by sunset tonight. We’re going to rent a car from City CarShare and drive up into the Berkeley Hills and look at the sky for an hour or so. Moonrise is around 10:30, so early evening should be good.

Later:I reserved a car from City CarShare for two hours, and so after a nice dinner at May Flower (one of our favorite restaurants in downtown Berkeley), Dave and I walked over to pick up the car and go look for meteors.

We reached Inspiration Point about 9:30. Great spot, pretty dark, lots of benches. There was quite a gathering already there, as we expected, but we found a bench to share with another couple. But then the cops came by around 20 minutes later to warn us that Tilden Park closes at ten and people who didn’t leave by then could be cited. Spoilsports.

We tried a few other spots, including the parking lot of the science museum, without success. Then Dave suggested the Berkeley Rose Garden.

When we got there we found several other meteor seekers there. The Rose Garden is fenced and locked up at night (as much to keep out deer as unscrupulous florists) but we found an empty bench outside and we sat and looked up. At first it seemed like there was too much ambient light, and we talked about giving up and heading back a little early. But then we saw three meteors in about a minute and a half. So we stayed there another 15 minutes or so and saw a few more. Then it was time to return the car and head home to bed.

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