Thursday, August 2, 2018

UIS to co-host special Star Party viewing of the Perseid meteor shower

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Astronomy-Physics Program, Lincoln Memorial Garden, and the Sangamon Astronomical Society will host a special Star Party to view the annual Perseid meteor shower.

WHEN: Monday, August 13, 2018, from 8:30 to 11 p.m.

WHERE: Lincoln Memorial Garden, 2301 East Lake Shore Drive, Springfield

DETAILS: The Perseid meteor shower takes place annually in the beginning of August when the Earth passes through a stream of debris crossing the Earth’s orbit from the Swift-Tuttle. The 2018 shower is predicted to peak between August 13 and August 14.

The Perseid meteor show is known for producing more fireball type meteors than any other meteor shower. In a dark location on any given night, between 3 and 5 meteors per hour can be spotted. During the peak of a shower like the Perseids there could be up to 60 meteors per hour.

People attending the event at Lincoln Memorial Garden should park in the spaces just off East Lake Shore Drive. Observing will be done in Crawley Meadow across the street from the nature center. Attendees are encouraged to wear bug repellant, dress appropriately for the weather and bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

The meteor viewing may be canceled for cloudy weather. Questions about suitable weather viewing should be directed to 217/206-8342 after 7 p.m. on August 13. Updates will also be posted on the UIS Observatory Twitter feed (@UISObservatory).

For more information on UIS Star Parties, contact John Martin, UIS associate professor of astronomy-physics, at 217/206-8342 or jmart5@uis.edu.