This weekend Friday and Saturday nights July 29 and 30th 2012 marks the beginning of the Perseid and Delta Aquarid meteor showers. Coupled with the new moon (no moon) It should be a nice little light show not to be missed.
The Earth in its orbit travels through two large asteroid belts every year. We will soon be traveling thru near center of the largest one The Persieds.
Last year I took a large group of people to the top of Lover’s Leap just above Strawberry. We used the Strawberry Lodge as a staging point for the hike. We brought wine and cheesecake to enjoy the night sky in deluxe splendor.
Better yet finding a kayak in campground like the ones in Lake Sonoma and Cherry Lake, Wright's lake, Echo Lake and Fallen Leaf Lake are best for this but any area clear of trees and lights can make this an unforgettable show. Lake Oroville has floating campgrounds that you kayak to.
Maybe a fire look out station for those who don't like water. We use satellites now so many of them have turned into remote camping destinations. http://www.buckrock.org/
I suggest using google maps to find local airstrips if you are not near a granite peak void of trees. http://www.maps.google.com/
Observatories like the one on top of Mount Livermore are also perfect places to stargaze.
Bring warm layers, flashlights, mosquito repellent, a thermos of Vietnamese or Japanese noodle soup and down load google sky map or similar star chart on your smart phone.
Squaw Valley will be hosting an annual meteor shower campout event at high camp just above the tram ride: on August 12th with the full moon.
***Bonus information: when to look for satellites (an hour after sunset)
We (the earth) is in the shadow. The Satellites are still in high orbit and reflect the suns rays down to us via their solar wings because high up, they are still in the sun's direct path.
And finding constellations (often too difficult due to the shear number of stars above) can now be done thru apps such as starwalk for iphones and google skymaps for androids. It took me twenty years to learn what Kasey downloaded in 8 seconds for free
I have now put this information as easy links on my facebook. Feel free to find me via my email address
Enjoy and thanks!