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Meteor Shower will be showing a show this weekend



Meteors will cross the night sky every four minutes in the early hours of the morning, but you probably will not see them.

Blame the moon. It will be full. There are not many people who can do anything about it. Full moons are great for night walks and fallas, but they tend to erase the visibility of things like the annual Delta Aquariid meteor shower.

For Meteorfans It's not just bad luck that the moon is full, but also that the Bay Area happens to be in North America. This is because other parts of the planet will experience a long lunar eclipse that darkens the sky and lets the meteors shine brightly. But North America is not in the way of the eclipse.

If you look up at night – and if you can persuade the moon to step behind a cloud ̵

1; you'll see a white stripe every few minutes. Nobody knows exactly where in the sky or when. Watching meteors requires a warm jacket and patience.

This weekend is the culmination of the Delta Aquariid shower, one of two dozen named annual meteor showers, when astronomers pull their telescopes out of the closet.

A meteor is a rubble, another word for garbage. Mostly a meteor is a piece of stone the size of a grain of sand spilled by a comet. In the case of the Delta Aquariid shower, the comet is called 96P / Machwood

The Delta Aquariid shower lasts six weeks, but this weekend is the time when most of the meteors planned by whom are doing the planning. The best observation is around 2 o'clock in the morning, a time when people are traditionally busy elsewhere.

The meteor shower of the Delta Aquariids occurs every summer from mid-July to mid-August. When it stops, the Perseid meteor shower begins, a kind of heavenly dual function.

The Perseid Shower has the best reputation among all the showers, and it is exactly what the Chabot Science and Space Center in the hills of Oakland triggers the stops for. (The Perseid Night Pajama Party takes place on the Chabot deck on August 12 – brings a sleeping bag and $ 85.)

Chabot astronomer Matt Potter said meteor fans would use the Perseid shower in general Prefer the Delta Aquariid shower, and this weekend is full The moon means that most ghosts will not be changed.

"Honestly, it's not going to be great because of the moon," he said.

Until Monday, the poor meteors will be inferior not only from the moon, but also from the monsters Mars. The Chabot deck will open on Monday evening from 10:30 am for a special Mars sightseeing. until 2.30 am, when the proximity to the earth makes Mars seem particularly bright. However, proximity is a relative thing, as Mars will still be 34 million miles away.

On Monday, the visit to Mars costs $ 8, including unlimited hot chocolate and anything that happens to Delta Aquarius meteors and causes the party to crash

"If you see a meteor on Monday, that's a bonus." said Potter.

Steve Rubenstein is a staff member of the San Francisco Chronicle. E-mail: srubenstein@sfchronicle.com


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