You know, I camped out in the yard with my kids last night and only saw two. The light pollution in our region is sickening. Perseid rates can approach 100 per hour and if you are somewhere that you can actually see the night sky, you should be able to see at least 15 of those per hour.
Yeah, my brother just got a place about an hour outside of State College, nothing around for a good distance. I was up there last month and I couldn’t believe the night sky – just absolutely packed with stars. The big dipper was shinning down like spotlights. I just stood there going “oh my god” over and over without even meaning to. I thought about driving out there last night but would have had to be back here too early in the morning – I hope he got himself outside and watched some for me.
re: bikefind, if you think that is something, try the same thing on a clear night in Jan/Feb. I’ve stopped at pull-offs on the turnpike on top of the Laurel Ridge just to look. It’s like your eyes are exploding.
even growing up in farm country on the shore of lake ontario and spending all my vacations up in the adirondacks, both places where the light pollution is fairly low, i almost fell over when we were in hawaii and we pulled over on the belt rd near the summit of mauna kea to check out the stars. it was amazing, it didn’t even look real.
there is a good reason they have 3 or 4 observatories within a few miles of where we stopped.
We lived in Montana for about two years. The sky was so dark, the stars were so much brighter, and the density of the stars was amazing – it was like looking at the end-grain of the milky way. Even saw the aurora borealis once – very cool.
Now all I see most nights is the parking lot lights reflected off the bottoms of the clouds.