Stargazers escaped the city lights for open spaces where they could have the best view of the Perseid Meteor Shower.
The shooting stars can be seen once a year typically in August when the Earth plows through a debris field left from a comets.
Astronomers from Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit brought their telescopes to Refugio State Beach for the Star Party. They used their equipment and knowledge to educate people at the campground about the meteor shower. People were able to look into the telescopes and get a glimpse at space.
The Star Party began at 7:00 p.m. and was free the public.
“I have a video eyepiece that takes the image through the chord and brings it into the monitor. Everything you see there is caused by something banging into it. So those are all craters of different sizes and shapes. the darker areas are old lava lakes,” said Patricia McPartlin, Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.
Kids were especially drawn to the telescopes and shooting stars.
“Flying across the sky at least 100 miles per hour,” said 8-year-old Wyatt Linten from Atascadero.
Seeing the Perseids was a great way for a teacher from Simi Valley to end her summer break.
“It takes you to outer space in a way, you get to participate in a way that’s out of the world that you don’t get to experience everyday,” said Dianne Schuster.
The peak viewing time for the Perseids is over, but stargazers might get lucky through the weekend.
“Prop your feet to the northeast because that’s where the radiant point is, get away from city lights and maybe get a hill to block the moon,” said Chuck McPartlin, the outreach coordinator for Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.
For more information on the club, here is a link to the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit’s website.