Ewing Park Lilac Arboretum - August 10th Starting at 6:00 pm
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Perseid Meteor Shower

The annual Perseids meteor shower has been visible for more than 2,000 years.  As Earth passes through the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet, dust particles hit the atmosphere and burn brightly as they disintegrate, causing the meteors that we see.  As more developments are on the rise and light pollution is destroying the night sky, there are less opportunities for people in the City to get outdoors and enjoy something this spectacular.  The shower peaks August 9-14 with more than 60 meteors per hour.

Sponsored by:  Friends of Des Moines Parks and Science Center of Iowa

Schedule of Events*

The action in the sky doesn’t get started until later, but the activities in the park start at 6:00pm:

6:00 p.m – Activities in the Arboretum

Obstacle Course

Free Glow in the Dark Face Painting

Solar Bead & Glow in the Dark Bracelets

Create a Sun Dial

Construct your own planisphere and then learn how to use it to help you see what’s visible in the night sky and safely observe the Sun through powerful telescopes, courtesy of the Science Center of Iowa

View a meteorite up close with the Drake Observatory

7:30 p.m. – “Telescope 101” presented by Doug Rudd, Des Moines Astronomical Society

9:00 p.m. – “The Sky is Falling” presented by Herb Schwartz, Drake Observatory

10:00 p.m. - "Space Jam" shown on our 25" inflatable screen

11:30 p.m. - Constellation Program presented by Richard Miles, Science Center of Iowa

2:00 a.m. -  Prime Viewing of meteors

*Feel free to bring your own food and drinks!

Bring a blanket , enjoy the stars and all this fun for free! 


Attendees are welcome to stay for any or all of the free programs. The meteor shower will hit its peak from 2-4 AM.  To accommodate the prime viewing time, Des Moines Park and Recreation is allowing overnight camping.  Limited primitive tent spots are available for $20 on a first come, first serve basis. Proceeds from camping will go towards the restoration of the lilacs. 

Don’t miss out on your chance to spend the night watching one of nature’s most spectacular phenomenons in one of Des Moines’ signature parks! 

To make camping reservations or other questions, please contact 283-4294.

The park will remain open for anyone who wants to stay and view the meteor shower, but doesn't wish to camp.  

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