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    Default Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?



    Can anyone suggest places or a way to find acceptable spots to watch the Perseid shower this weekend within about an hour drive of Seattle? Much thanks.

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    Default Re: Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?

    Welcome to the forums.

    The problem is parks close at dusk.
    The Seattle Astronomical Society sets up on Tiger Mountain sometimes. It may be a site worth checking into. There's an ungated park off of Naches road by Lake Stevens, I've setup my scope there a few times. It's OK as long as you don't mind being under high voltage lines.
    Name - Verne / Call sign - KF7UHL

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    Default Re: Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?

    I think that the fact that the parks close at dusk shouldn't be a problem. I would hope that the original poster is planning to stay all night.
    OP: is that correct?
    Some more questions:
    What part of Seattle do you live? This may help us in determining fastest access to dark skies.

    Do you have a 4x4?

    When are you planning to watch it? (The shower is best after midnight local time)

    Are you preferring to watch it from where you stay, or are you willing to watch it from the side of some random road?

    If you prefer to watch it from where you stay, are you okay with camping, or do you prefer a cabin or something like that?

    Is there a reason why you're limiting your drive to 1 hour? You may have seen this site:
    https://sites.google.com/site/3davel...on/lp2001/gmap

    Note that each jump in color zone represents a roughly 30% increase in the number of meteors you see. (This is assuming that atmospheric conditions are equal at both locations, that each observer has escaped from local light pollution, that they have the same amount of sky coverage, etc.)

    If you really have to be back early on Sunday, and that's what's limiting your drive, that's one thing. But I sometimes feel that people choose a spot to watch a meteor shower because it's "good enough".

    When was the last time the Perseid meteor shower peaked on a Saturday night with little or no moon like it is this year? When is the next time it will do that?

    If your schedule isn't limiting you, take advantage of the situation this year. Sure, gas is expensive but it might just be worth driving a few extra miles this year......

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    Default Re: Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by astrophoto View Post
    I think that the fact that the parks close at dusk shouldn't be a problem. I would hope that the original poster is planning to stay all night.
    I usually setup on a trail that is part of the King county parks system. I've been told, by a sheriff's deputy, that he could kick me out but since none of the people in the houses along the trail have complained, I can stay. I figure it's just a matter of time before a sheriff's deputy that sticks to the letter of the law comes by and kicks me out, even though I've been setting up in that spot for almost 4 years.
    There are camping parks which cost to stay at, one such park is up by Arlington, and may require reservations. There's supposed to be an astronomy park over by Hobart but I'm getting the run around as to who has the key.
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    Default Re: Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?

    Oops! It's North Machias Road by Lake Stevens, not Naches Road. Naches Road is west of Yakima, where my wife and I go to pick fresh fruit.
    You could always go to Table Mountain, north of Ellensburg. If you don't want to camp on the mountain there are a couple hotels at the turn-off from I-90. Once you wake up you could make a weekend out touring the wine country around Yakima.
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    Default Re: Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?

    First of all, thank you all for your generous comments and suggestions. It surprised me to see some many thought full comments in the time it took me to recheck the thread. Other forums can be not so responsive to newbies.

    My car is an older model sedan and 4x4 is probably not wise.

    The reason for me being within about an hour is indeed that my work schedule starts the next morning. I will be leaving from the U district. It is ok for me to be up all day though for this event. Wherever the spot is it must allow me to get back at 8am or so.

    In the past, we have tried at the foot of the Rattlesnake Lake Park near North Bend in a paved turnaround which is yellow on the Google map. (By the way, that is a great tool and thank you for the link). It is my hope to possible find an ideal grassy field to lie down in and understand this is unlikely. Side of road or otherwise does not bother me in the slightest.

    This site: Alice's Astro Info: Seattle Stargazing suggest several spots in the Seattle area the campground on Lake Kachess being suggested for the upcoming shower. Does anyone have experience with any of these locations?

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    Default Re: Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?

    If it wasn't forecasted to be "really clear" I would have said forget about Lake Kachess, if there are any clouds you know they'll be on the pass. I've been to the open house events at the U of W observatory and was surprised at how many stars were visible from the U District, but I've never tried viewing from any of the parks within the city.
    I usually setup at this location 47.736282, -122.116111, it's along a trail just up the hill from Red Hook. It has grass about 20 feet on each side that has recently been cut. There were about half a dozen people out here for the last lunar eclipse we had. If people park wisely then about 10 cars can fit in the available space. If you go to this location be warned, mosquitoes.
    Name - Verne / Call sign - KF7UHL

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    Default Re: Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?

    Hi, I'm new to this forum. My name is Matt. I've always been into watching the Perseids...my life has been crazy lately and I ALMOST forgot about them , but luckily something reminded me, so I won't miss them this weekend I was going to post basically the exact question that the OP did, so thankfully I did a search first and found this thread instead of repeat posting. I'd like to extend my thanks as well to all of you who have kindly offered all of this helpful information.

    I live in the Bothell area, and on short notice I don't have anything planned, nor do I have anyone that could really travel with me a significant distance. I'm hoping to check out some local haunts if I can find any with some friendly people that don't mind me dropping in. I'm also interested in astrophotography, though I've only tried it a few times years ago.

    A quick story about Perseids... one year, when I was actually in shape , I did a solo hike to the top of a mountain, and was there by myself. The sky was crystal clear, 0 moon interference, perfect temperature, and miraculously, barely and skeeters. That was one of the most memorable nights of my life so far...I could see the milky way, millions of stars, and the Perseids in astonishing numbers (must have been hundreds per hour). I'm working on getting back in shape to go hiking again, so maybe one day I'll get another such experience.

    Anyway, thanks for the info, and if anyone has any more local hiding spots they wouldn't mind sharing, I'd love to drop by for the Perseids this weekend. I understand if you don't want to divulge the info to some random guy you don't know though

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    Default Re: Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?

    Even if you don't do it this year, I can STRONGLY recommend watching the Perseid and/or Geminid meteor shower from a gray or black zone sky at some point. (Make sure you escape local light pollution and go at a time when the moon does not interfere).

    From typical orange, yellow, or green zone skies, a few dozen can be seen each hour-- even at the peak (between midnight and dawn) for both showers.

    From gray or black zone locations at the peak times (between midnight and dawn), many dozens can be seen-- sometimes the numbers are well above 100/hr.

    I can tell you that a meteor shower that tops 100/hr is VERY memorable and is achievable. I'm hoping to get everyone to understand that sky darkness does not play a slight role in the number of meteors you see-- it makes a *significant* one.

    To anyone reading this, especially the OP: want to make a meteor shower even more interesting? Two steps:

    1. set an alarm clock for a few minutes before you start watching. When the alarm goes off, press the snooze button, and start counting meteors. When the snooze button goes off again, write down the number of meteors you saw in that time frame, and start your next count-- and so on. When you're done, you have counts of the number of meteors you saw every few minutes (5 minutes is best IMO) and a truer representation of how the meteor shower really behaved.

    2. Meteor shower counts mean nothing if we don't know how dark your sky really was. If you know the constellations well, you can test your limiting magnitude by these charts: Limiting magnitude
    Or, you can see which one of the Bortle Scale levels best matches the sky you see:
    The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale - Saving Dark Skies - SkyandTelescope.com

    Good luck, and please post your results. We'd all love to know what you saw.

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    Default Re: Places to watch Perseid shower near Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingSquirrel View Post
    Hi, I'm new to this forum. My name is Matt. I've always been into watching the Perseids...my life has been crazy lately and I ALMOST forgot about them , but luckily something reminded me, so I won't miss them this weekend I was going to post basically the exact question that the OP did, so thankfully I did a search first and found this thread instead of repeat posting. I'd like to extend my thanks as well to all of you who have kindly offered all of this helpful information.

    I live in the Bothell area, and on short notice I don't have anything planned, nor do I have anyone that could really travel with me a significant distance. I'm hoping to check out some local haunts if I can find any with some friendly people that don't mind me dropping in. I'm also interested in astrophotography, though I've only tried it a few times years ago.

    A quick story about Perseids... one year, when I was actually in shape , I did a solo hike to the top of a mountain, and was there by myself. The sky was crystal clear, 0 moon interference, perfect temperature, and miraculously, barely and skeeters. That was one of the most memorable nights of my life so far...I could see the milky way, millions of stars, and the Perseids in astonishing numbers (must have been hundreds per hour). I'm working on getting back in shape to go hiking again, so maybe one day I'll get another such experience.

    Anyway, thanks for the info, and if anyone has any more local hiding spots they wouldn't mind sharing, I'd love to drop by for the Perseids this weekend. I understand if you don't want to divulge the info to some random guy you don't know though
    Welcome to the forums.
    The spot I gave isn't the best but it's close to my house and high enough to get away from the fog coming off of the slough.
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