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The parking lot at Homestead National Monument of America's Heritage Center will be open for early risers to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower Wednesday through Saturday, August 12 –15, 2015. The Heritage Center sits on a high, open point and will be a perfect place to view meteors.
The best time to view the Perseids, and most other meteor showers, is when the sky is the darkest. Most astronomers suggest that depending on the Moon's phase, the best time to view meteor showers is right before dawn. The moon phase right now is almost "new", so just a small sliver will be visible for the next few days.
While there will not be a program, the Heritage Center parking lot will be open all night to allow viewing. Star gazing is a waiting game, so feel free to bring lawn chairs and blankets to make yourself comfortable. You are also encouraged to bring you own telescope or binoculars. The Heritage Center building will not be open beyond normal hours of operation (8:30 am-5:00 p.m.).
Some fun facts:
- Made of tiny space debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, the Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus. This is because the direction, or radiant, from which the shower seems to come in the sky lies in the same direction as the constellation Perseus, which can be found in the north-eastern part of the sky.
- On a clear, dark night, at its peak, one can see 60 to a 100 meteors an hour during the Perseid shower.
Mark your calendar for the next star gazing party at Homestead National Monument of America –September 27, 2015, at8 p.m. The Prairie Astronomy Club will bring telescopes to help view a wonderful array of stars, planets, and a lunar eclipse.
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM), Facebook (HomesteadNM), and Instagram (HomesteadNPS).
Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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