Julian StarFest returns amid Perseid meteor shower peak in San Diego

JULIAN, Calif. — Astronomy enthusiasts and star gazers are in for special treat this weekend as the Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak over San Diego County.

For those looking for the perfect place to watch this celestial event, the Julian StarFest is finally back after a two-year break due to the pandemic.

The San Diego Astronomy Associations is hosting a free public Star Party at the event Saturday night.

“This is definitely the big event for the meteor shower! There will be many astronomers there,” said Cathy Handzel, member of the San Diego County Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association (IDA).

Organizers are expecting around 1,000 people to attend the Julian StarFest, which is taking place below the dark skies at Menghini Winery.

The Star Party begins at 7 p.m. and will last until 11 p.m. Attendees can come early to check out merchant booths, participate in crafts in the picnic area, stroll the swap meet area, or enjoy wine tasting.

The full schedule for the Julian StarFest can be found here.

Associate Professor of Astronomy at San Diego State University, Douglas Leonard is set to speak at the Star Party with topics like the explosion of Betelgeuse — a red supergiant star. He will be joined by other astronomy experts.

This year may prove better luck for sky gazers since the waning crescent moon will allow for better viewing compared to last year’s bright full Moon.

Julian may be one of the best places to catch this meteor shower as the Julian Dark Sky Network has worked to preserve its dark skies.

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