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Relive the peak of the Perseid meteor shower

Image: Perseids and Milky Way
Perseid meteors flash with the Milky Way as a backdrop. (GeekWire photo by Kevin Lisota)

Crowds of skywatchers turned the peak of the Perseid meteor shower into a mass spectator event overnight – and you can catch an encore presentation this weekend, if you know where to go.

For me, last night’s arena was Rattlesnake Lake, about 35 miles east of Seattle. Cars were lined up for miles along the blacktop leading off from Interstate 90’s Exit 34, even though it was 1 o’clock in the morning.

That’s just about the time the moon set, leaving the stage of the clear, black sky open for the meteor performance. My stargazing friend and I settled in right at the lake’s edge, along with hundreds of other people scattered in the darkness. We saw roughly one meteor a minute: Sometimes they came in bunches. Sometimes we just waited and stared. And sometimes we’d miss a flash, only to hear the “oooh” rising up from the surrounding crowd of skywatchers.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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