Monday, August 7, 2017

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

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

WHEN: Saturday, August 12, 2017, from 8 p.m. to Midnight

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

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 2017 shower is predicted to peak between August 11 and August 13.

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 Perseid 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 Crawly 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 cancelled for cloudy weather. Questions about suitable weather viewing should be directed to 217/206-8342 after 7 p.m. on August 12. Updates will also be posted on the UIS Observatory Twitter feed (@UISObservatory). In the event of cloudy weather, John Martin, UIS associate professor of astronomy-physics, will give a presentation about the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse. That presentation will begin at 8 p.m. in the nature center.

For more information on UIS Star Parties, contact John Martin, at 217/206-8342 or

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