Hundreds gather to watch Perseid Meteor Shower in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds are gathering at Oakland's Chabot Space and Science Center for an overnight viewing party. The Perseid Meteor Shower is expected to put on a dazzling show this year.

The event is sold out. More than 500 people are expected and among them, dozens are sleeping over -- a unique experience people we talked with couldn't pass up.

"We thought about some national parks or somewhere away from the city. This is the perfect place because I think we should have a good view of the stars," said Abhishek Verma of San Francisco.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is when the Earth passes through the remnants from the comet Swift-Tuttle. But this year, the phenomenon is expected to be more spectacular than usual, in large part because there'll be minimal light pollution from the moon.

"Our opportunities to see the meteors from the meteor shower are going to be better just because we don't have that extra source of bright light in the sky and if you're in a dark location, you're chances of seeing the meteors are even better," said Conrad Jung, a staff astronomer at Chabot.

RELATED: How to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower

Many people who came to Chabot, like Alice Wang of Oakland, have never seen a meteor.

"I do remember staying up when I was taking an astronomy class one time and it was like a total bust so I'm really hoping to see some meteors for once," said Wang.

But it's not a sure thing. Astronomers say fog, clouds and smoke from the wildfires could reduce visibility. If they don't, those who have seen a meteor shower are eager to see one yet again.

"You're kind of waiting and then one happens and then one happens somewhere else and then you shift. Yeah, it's a very nice experience," said Ben Echeverria of Richmond.

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