The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to experience, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak! It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright, luminous meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. The waxing gibbous moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving fairly dark skies. Best viewing is after midnight. Meteors radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky. Joel Goodman, an astronomer with the Howard Astronomical League, and Dr. Alex Storrs will have meteorite fragments and high power viewing telescopes to look at planets and moon and will explain the meteor shower phenomenon. Bring reclining lawn chair or blanket, water, snack, possibly insect deterrent. Please dim headlights if driving in after 10pm. Check website if weather is questionable. Photo credit mellamokat of Flickr.
Alex Storrs: Alex Storrs is an associate professor in the department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at Towson University. He did his undergraduate work in X-Ray astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, getting a B.S. in Physics in 1982. He attended grad school at the University of Hawaii, getting a Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1987 with a dissertation on Halley’s comet. He has probably seen more of that comet than anyone else in the human race. After postdocs at Goddard Spaceflight Center and the University of Texas, he worked at Space Telescope Science Institute for nine years, becoming known as “Mr. Moving Targets”. He started at Towson University in the fall of 2000 and got tenure in 2004. He is director of both the Watson-King Planetarium and the Observatory at Towson University.
Joel Goodman: Joel Goodman is a semi-retired dentist and self-taught astronomy enthusiast. His formal education was in chemistry at Duke University (1974) with a graduate dental degree from the University of Maryland in 1979. Joel founded a children’s astronomy club, the Celestial Searchers, in 1998 in response to parents’ pleas for more astro education for their kids. He is Observatory Chair for the Howard Astronomical League, a community astronomy club in the process of building the first publicly accessible observatory in Howard County at Alpha Ridge Community Park. Joel also teaches astronomy at Howard Community College and develops and presents programs for the digital planetarium at the Robinson Nature Center in Columbia.
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