Lake Afton Public Observatory
Tuesday, Aug. 13 from 12 a.m. - 3 a.m.
$5 for adults
$3 for children ages 6-12
Children under 6 years old admitted free
$15 family rate: two parents and their immediate minor children or grandchildren
For more info, call (316) 978-3991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open to the public.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
A meteor shower known to produce the brightest meteors begins Saturday and will peak on Sunday into Monday and Monday night into Tuesday, NASA officials said.
The annual Perseid meteor shower, tracked by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, produces more fireballs as bright as the planets Jupiter and Venus, than any other shower, according to NASA's website.
Bill Cooke and his team at NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office have collected data by tracking the shower since 2008. He says the best time to see the showers will be right before dawn.
According to NASA, the Perseid meteor shower occurs every year in early to mid-August when Earth passes through the debris stream of Comet Swift-Tuttle.
Cooke believes the large quantity of fireballs is a result of the comet's massive size.
For the best show, he recommends getting away from city lights on Aug. 12 and 13 and searching the night skies between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.
Wichita State University is hosting a public viewing at Lake Afton Observatory.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Where should I look? The whole sky, actually. The shooting stars will seem to come from the constellation Perseus, in the northeastern sky. But they may appear anywhere as quick streaks.
Where should I not to look? Don't look at the moon, or anything else bright. You want your eyes to get used to the dark.
Where should I go? Any place will do, but darker is better, with a nice expanse of open sky. Get away from city lights if you can.
When to watch? The Perseid is best after midnight Monday morning.
Do I need any special equipment? Nope, forget the binoculars, all you need is your eyes.
Can I take pictures? Sure, you can try, but a smartphone camera probably won't do. You'll want a camera with manual settings and a tripod is a must. Set your lens to the widest possible setting. Set the ISO (sensitivity to light) to a high number, such as 400 or 1600. And -- this is critical -- your exposures need to be l-o-n-g. Experiment. An exposure of 30 seconds might give you a field of stars with a couple of streaks across it. Or you might try for an hour (close down the f/stop) and get very little.
What if it's cloudy? You should be checking the weather regularly, including the radar to see what the conditions will be like. We'd suggest one of these weather apps. If it is cloudy, you're probably out of luck, but, hey, you'll get a good night's sleep.
Anyone who takes pictures or shoots videos can upload them by clicking here, or they can be emailed to email@example.com.
Learn more about the annual Perseid meteor shower below: