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  • Vinita Domier

Perseid Meteor Shower Returns Saturday

by Vinita Domier

Special to the Enterprise

Image credit is NASA, obtained from Wikimedia Commons

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is great cosmic fireworks show. This year, the Perseids are even more spectacular as the thin waning crescent Moon is not going to spoil the viewing during the shower’s peak activity around August 12-13 as it is not going to rise until 3:30am.

Davis Astronomy Club invites everyone to the free public viewing of the annual Perseid meteor shower on the evening of Saturday, August 12, from 7pm -1am at a dark sky location outside Davis and Woodland – 34093 County Road 25.

The Perseid meteor shower consistently provides good viewing of “shooting stars” during warm summer nights for Northern observers from mid-July to late August, with peak activity occurring this year around August 12 - 13 when 60 – 100 meteors per hour can be seen under ideal viewing conditions of clear dark skies and the Moon below the horizon. Many of the meteors of this particular shower streak across the sky in long colorful trails.

Meteor showers occur when the Earth, in its yearly journey around the Sun, crosses paths with a stream of debris left in the wake of a comet’s close approach to the Sun. Some of the comet's frozen gases and ice vaporize in the vicinity of the Sun, carrying dust and tiny rock fragments. These particles continue to orbit around the sun in the same orbit as the parent comet. When the Earth goes through the point in space where the two orbits intersect, it results in a meteor shower. The Perseid meteor shower is attributed to the periodic Comet 109P/Swift-Turtle.

No special equipment is needed to enjoy the Perseids. All you need to watch these fireworks in the sky are clear dark skies with an unobstructed view from horizon to horizon and a reclining chair or blanket to lay down on with point toes north-eastward (towards the Perseus constellation in the night sky). Remember to look in all directions.

This year the Davis Astronomy Club is hosting the event in the open field at a private property in rural Yolo County near County Roads 25 and 95. The fence at 34093 County Road 25 will have string of lights to help identify the location. Limited parking will be available inside the gate and additional parking along County Road 25. There will be no public restrooms available.

Please bring a blanket or reclining chair, insect repellent, and a red-filtered light or a flashlight in a paper bag, water, jacket, and wear long pants. Also, everyone is requested to treat this private venue with respect and not leave trash etc., behind. Davis Astronomy Club members will have telescopes set up to look at the setting sun, planets, and other deep sky objects.

For further questions, please contact Vinita Domier at

Explorit's coming events:

• Last day to visit our exhibit “Explorit Rocks!” and explore rocks, fossils, minerals, and crystals is Friday, August 18.

• Explorit will be CLOSED to the public August 19-September 1 for the installation of our next exhibit.

• Grand Opening of “Our Wild World” is the weekend of Saturday, September 2 – Monday, September 4, 10am-2pm each day. Admission is $5 per person. Explorit Members, ASTC, and those age 2 and under free.

• Now is a great time to donate and help Explorit continue to educate and inspire the scientists of tomorrow:

• A Membership to Explorit grants the recipient free visits to Explorit’s regular public hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits


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