Star-gazing event to coincide with meteor shower

August 06, 2012

BIG POOL — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Park Service will present an evening of star-gazing Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at Fort Frederick State Park.

The program will be presented by a park naturalist. The event coincides with the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower.

According to naturalist Charles Sullivan, “The Perseid meteor is the most dependable meteor shower and it occurs under favorable viewing conditions this year. Observers may expect to see as many as 60 meteors per hour; however, the best time for seeing Perseids is during the early predawn hours.”

Meanwhile, there is plenty to see in the evening sky through a 10-inch Dobsonian telescope, which will be on- site.

Attendees will meet at the nature center, which is adjacent to Captain Wort’s store across from the fort. The park’s dark skies provide an ideal site for astronomical observation. Overnight camping is available on-site for those wishing to see the meteor shower.

Amateur astronomers are encouraged to bring their own instruments, including binoculars, for viewing deep-sky objects.

The Perseids are often best seen with the unaided eye.

Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

In the event of clouds or rain, the program will be canceled. Astronomy programs will also be offered in September and October.

Fort Frederick State Park is off Interstate 70 at Md. 56 in Big Pool.

For more information, call 301-842-2155.

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