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What are the best places to see the Perseid meteor shower in the USA?

The meteor shower will peak from midnight on August 11 to dawn on August 13 but actually runs from July 23 to August 22.

This NASA handout photo released on August 11, 2021, shows a 30 second exposure,as a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower on August 10, 2021, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. (Photo by Bill INGALLS / NASA / AFP) / RESTRICTED

The Perseid meteor shower will grace the mid-August summer skies as one of the biggest showers of the year. The meteor shower will peak from midnight on August 11 to dawn on August 13 but actually runs from July 23 to August 22, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Mesa Verde International Dark Sky Park, Colorado

One of 37 national parks in the US designated at International Dark Sky Parks, Mesa Verde National Park already offered public night sky programs before its designation in April.

An UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is famous for its Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and over 5,000 known archeological sites and its fabulously dark night skies.

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Get ready for one of the biggest dark sky areas in the world. The park is currently going through a certification process being organised by McDonald Observatory, the local counties have been updating their dark sky lighting ordinances.

It’s already one of the best places in North America for stargazing, with plenty of star parties, night sky interpretive programs and moonlight walks.

Natural Bridge International Dark Sky Park, Virginia

Virginia now has three International Dark Sky Parks - the most of any state east of the Mississippi River - the latest being the Natural Bridge State Park, a limestone gorge with forests and meadows.

Appalachian Mountain Club’s Maine Woods, New England

There are not many International Dark Sky Parks on the east coast of the US, but there’s a plan a place.

Earlier this year, the 14,000 square kilometer forest at North Maine Woods was designated as such, with the idea to create a vast reserve by combining the new AMC Maine Woods International Dark Sky Park with the existing Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

Dead Horse Point Dark Sky Park, Utah

Between the vast national parks of Canyonlands and Arches - both famous for their dark skies - the small yet dramatic Dead Horse Point State Park often gets overlooked.

About 6,000ft. above sea level, its night skies are exceptionally dark and the views from its observation platform - above a gooseneck in the Colorado River - are unbeatable.

Prineville Reservoir State Park, Oregon

The first International Dark Sky Park in Oregon, Prineville Reservoir State Park was designated only in May.

Northeast of Bend in the high desert, it’s a 3,000-acre lake with boating, fishing, hiking trails, campsites and starry skies.

Best views

For the best viewing chances, give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the night sky, according to EarthSky. Set aside at least an hour to see the sky because the meteors come in waves, they added.


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