This Weekend is the last chance to catch a Glimpse of the Annual Perseid Meteor Shower which is the biggest Show the Night Sky puts on every Summer. If you have a Child, watching a Meteor Shower is the perfect time to have some Family bonding time but more importantly you will instill a sense of Wonder within your Child and create a Fond Memory they will look back on for the rest of their lives.
The most Important Ingredient to observing a Meteor Shower or any type of Star Gazing is Dark Sky and plenty of it!
Unfortunately the Bay Area provides few Locations for Optimal Viewing as we are one of the biggest Contributors of Light Pollution. If you have too much Light, it effectively cancels out any Potential Celestial Objects by drowning the sky with Glow from Lights.
Fortunately for the Fremont, Newark area viewing Conditions aren't too bad this year. Click here to check out our Observation Forecast courtesy A.Danko from Cleardarksky.com. Another Element to Consider is the Weather Factor and according to Weather.com the Weekend is suited quite nicely for a potential Meteor Party.
Perfect Spots include Hillsides, Mountain Tops, Beaches and Observatories.
When you have found a suitable Location for viewing the Meteor Shower be sure to allow your eyes a minimum of 15 Minutes to Adapt to the Darkness before actively attempting to spot Objects in the Night Sky.
During the past Decade I have spent every year traveling the Bay Area looking for the most Optimal Viewing Locations, and although I've found many, most were in dangerous areas for instance on the side of a Freeway, in a Remote Field, even way out off Vasco Road near Brentwood.
There are some Places nearby though that will suffice and one of them is Pleasanton Ridge accessible via Foothill Road in Sunol.
Just enter the Parking Area and remain there while looking up at the Sky. I don't recommend hiking the trail there in the dark as you might trip and roll down the hill as I did one year. It did not feel good at all!
If you decide to check this spot out, please be aware that Deer might be nearby and that you should use your Hi Beams on the way to this Entrance!
If you find yourself Limited to just the Newark Area, you can get creative by taking some Cardboard Boxes, keeping them flat and unfolded while duct taping two or three on top of each other in order to block out light from a specific Direction. Of course this seems silly but it does work!
Another Option is finding a Thick Tree and positioning yourself on one side of the Stump preferably blocking out the Street Light nearby. If you live in an Apartment and are fortunate enough to have a Balcony, throw up some really Dark Plastic Bags (Garbage Variety), Sheets , or even Tarp to block out nearby Light.
Whether you are Leaving the area or staying there are some things you should have with you when Meteor Watching. A Working Cell Phone in case of Emergency, a Flash Light, MediKit, or First Aid Kit and depending upon how long you envision staying out for, appropriate Beverages, Food, and Footwear.
If you intend on bringing your Camera with you in hopes of catching some awesome Fire Ball Captures, please make sure that it's got High ISO Options. Preferably it should have Manual Options and include the ability to tweak Aperture, ISO & Exposure Settings plus Switch from Auto Focus to Manual Focus (Auto Focus is Horrible for Meteor Photography) for some helpful pointers you can Reference this Website here.
There's all kinds of Options you have at your disposal, some will require trial and error while others a little patience. don't be afraid to get Creative, but do be cautious of your surroundings and above all have fun.
If you have specific Questions or need Answers for certain Situations by all means Comment below or Contact me directly via my Website