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A shower of stars, August 7 to 15.

A shower of stars, August 7 to 15

It takes a patient eye, but watchers of the night sky this month can see one of nature's most easily observable meteor showers. One of nine such annual displays, the Perseids Meteor shower appears most strongly from August 7 to 15. As the earth passes through the thickest part of the comet's tail, the trailing fragments cross into the atmosphere and burn up, appearing as a dusting of shooting stars. You might spot as many as 50 flashes an hour.

To see them better, Bay Area stargazers can attend a free session at 8 on Friday, August 10, at the Foothill College Observatory in Los Altos Hills, about 45 miles south of San Francisco. Members of the Peninsula Astronomical Society will have several small telescopes you can use. And you can take turns looking through the large 16-inch reflector scope.

The college is at 12345 El Monte Road; take Interstate 280 to the El Monte exit and follow signs.

Photo: Curious youth peers through an 8-inch telescope to see a meteor shower in the skies above Los Altos Hills, California
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Date:Aug 1, 1984
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