August Star Party with Perseid Meteor Shower!


Join the Southern Utah Space Foundation on Saturday, August 11th, 2018 at 8 pm to look at the Perseid Meteor Shower! For this event, SUSF is partnering with the Ashcroft Observatory who have kindly offered us their space at the observatory for this event. Even if we have clouds, there will be an indoor discussion on meteor showers.

What is the Perseid Meteor Shower?

The Perseid Meteor Shower is a direct result of the Earth passing through the tail leftovers of a comet. The comet that causes the Perseids is Comet Swift-Tuttle. Photographed in 1862 (see below), the comet came back around in 1992, and will again be very bright in 2126. It has an osculating orbit of 133 years and as Earth passes through the faint remnants of its tail, we see the Perseid Meteor Shower.


Comet in 1892

When is the best time to see the Perseids? The Perseid Meteor Shower actually lasts for over a month, from mid-July to mid-August, and you may have seen some ‘shooting stars’ by now, but the peak is almost always between August 11-13. If you want the absolute best view of the Perseids, you must go somewhere dark and be out early in the morning. For our event, we will see some of the Perseids, but also be able to look at planets, nebulae, and galaxies through our large telescopes.

The Observatory

To find the Ashcroft Observatory, head down Highway 56, turn left onto Westview Drive, and follow the road until you see it curving sharply to the right. Instead of turning right, just drive straight up the (now paved!) path and you’ll be at the observatory.

The inside will be toasty, but the outside will still be cold, so make sure to bundle up! This event is free and open to the public. Everyone is invited and it is free of charge. But we always appreciate donations so we can buy better equipment for the community.

Weather Disclaimer: We would like to be able to control the weather with our minds, but sadly, we cannot. If it is snowing, raining, or just wall to wall clouds, we won’t be able to see anything through our telescopes, and we won’t be able to see the meteor shower.

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