Perseid Meteor Marathon
at The Wilderness Center

Nature’s most reliable fireworks will be on display the evening of Friday, Aug. 11, at The Wilderness Center. Astronomers recognize the Perseid display to be the most reliable meteor shower from year to year.  Some of the Perseids are expected to be very bright. Meteor predictions are for 20 to 30 per hour, even with the moon visible in the sky.

The nights of August 11-12 (Friday night - Saturday morning) and August 12-13 (Saturday night - Sunday morning) should be the best nights to observe the meteor shower. Although the shower's predicted peak is 6pm EDT August 12, it will be active from July 30 through August 25. You will see fewer meteors the further from the peak you observe.

The Perseids parent comet is 109/P Swift-Tuttle. The Perseid meteors are pea sized debris from this comet burning up in Earth's atmosphere. You know it is related to this comet if you trace the trail of the meteorite back to the constellation Perseus the Hero.

Volunteers from The Wilderness Center Astronomy Club will be at the center starting at 10 p.m., when it should become dark enough to see the meteors.   Telescope owners may bring their personal telescopes, but the meteors are best observed with the naked eye.   The most important equipment will be lawn chairs, comfortable clothing, and mosquito repellent.

The event will be canceled if conditions are cloudy.

Families are encouraged to attend the free, kid friendly event.   Visitors seeking advice on buying or using a telescope can pose questions to club members and look through a wide range of telescopes set up for viewing in the parking lot.  If you own a telescope that seems difficult to use, feel free to bring it to the public viewing and ask a volunteer to examine it.
 

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Last updated July 22, 2006 by Bill Castro (webmaster@twcac.org)