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Want To Get Away From The City Lights? The Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Saturday, Visible All Weekend

By Jesse Wood

The markups showing the Summer Triangel (purple), the constellations Cygnus (green), Cassiopeia (blue “W””), and Perseius (red, the constellation from which they radiate). Photo by Dr. Dan Caton

Aug. 9, 2012. This weekend’s meteor shower offers a good reason to get away from the city lights of the High Country.

The Perseid meteor shower, which stems from particles ejected from the comet Swift-Tuttle travelling its 130-year orbit, will peak Saturday night, although it will be visible on Friday and Sunday nights as well.

According to Dr. Dan Caton, professor and director of observatories at ASU, the Perseids offer a “pretty decent rate of meteors,” which could reach 90 per hour. He suggested one of the Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks as a great place to view the showers as soon as it gets dark.

Another viewing option is a public night at the Dark Sky Observatory. (For directions, see below.) Due to the late sunset, there is only one viewing session from 9:30 to 11 p.m. To reserve free tickets to attend the session, click to https://dso.webconnex.com/DSOpublic081112.

For directions to the Dark Sky Observatory, click here: http://www.dancaton.physics.appstate.edu/Observatories/DSO/Directions.pdf

For more information, click here: http://dso.appstate.edu/

Will you be viewing the meteor shower? If so, where at? Comment below.