HC’s Sachtleben Observatory schedules program for Perseid meteor shower

View one of the year’s strongest meteor showers with staff from Hastings College’s Sachtleben Observatory. Beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, at Crystal Lake Recreation near Ayr, Neb., observatory staff will provide a short presentation on Perseid meteor shower and then lead telescope viewing of the night sky from 10-11 p.m. The public is invited to attend this free event.

Because the event is held weather permitting and will be cancelled if skies are cloudy, please call Starline at 402-462-7378 or check out the Sachtleben Observatory’s Facebook page; both will be updated by 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon. No program will be offered at the observatory that evening.   

According to Observatory Program Coordinator Dan Glomski, up to one meteor per minute appears in dark skies during the Perseid meteor shower. These meteors result from tiny comet fragments slamming into Earth’s atmosphere, where the fragments disintegrate into fiery streaks.

He explained that shower is best seen after midnight on August 12 although a few meteors will be visible during the evening of August 11.

Glomski also added that meteors can be seen with the unaided eye. For best viewing, it is strongly suggested that bright lights inside the park be kept to a minimum. To minimize disturbance from car headlights, viewers not staying overnight are encouraged to park along the entrance road outside of the camping area. Also, visitors who are not staying overnight are encouraged to bring blankets, reclining lawn chairs and insect repellent.

Directions to Crystal Lake Recreation Area
Maintained by the village of Ayr, Neb., Crystal Lake Recreation Area is located one mile north of the town. From U.S. Highway 281, about 10 miles south of Hastings, proceed west on state highway 74 into Ayr, where a sign directs you north to Crystal Lake. When you reach the “T” intersection, turn west and proceed about 1/4 mile; the entrance will be on the north side of the road just before a sharp curve.

About the Sachtleben Observatory
The Sachtleben Observatory of Hastings College offers public programs at least twice per month. The schedule for 2012 can be found at hastings.edu as well as the observatory’s Facebook page.

Note to Media: For more information, contact Daniel Glomski, Sachtleben Observatory Program Coordinator, at dglomski@hastings.edu or (402) 902-9724.

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