Perseid Meteor Shower
The Perseids meteor shower has been visible for more than 2,000 years. This year the Moon will be in the way and lower the viewing ability, so instead we are going to focus on the Moon and still try to see the showers. The shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus from which it appears to originate. It occurs annually, beginning in late July and lasting through August. The shower is caused by the comet Swift-Tuttle’s tail as it intersects the earth’s orbit. As Earth passes through the tail of the comet particles of dust hit the atmosphere and burn brightly as they disintegrate, causing the meteors that we see. During its peak, in August, you can view up to more than 60 meteors per hour as we pass through the dustiest part of the comet’s tail. 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.
Sponsored by: City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Friends of Des Moines Parks, Dairy Queen, Science Center of Iowa, Drake Observatory, Easter Lake Neighborhood Association, Des Moines Astronomical Society
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 for Everyone
- Bouncer House
- Face Painting
- Solar Bead & Glow in the Dark Bracelets
- Stomp Rockets
- Space Frisbees and Jr. Frisbee Golf
- Science Center of Iowa hands on activities
- The Des Moines Astronomical Society
- Drake Observatory-View a meteorite up close!
7:30 p.m. Music and trivia start - DM Astronomical Society presentation telescope 101-
8:15 p.m. The Moon presentation
8:23 p.m. Sunset
9:15 p.m. Science Center of Iowa presentation
9:45 p.m. Movie "Despicable Me" & Free Snacks
12:00 a.m. Prime Viewing of Moon
1:00 a.m. Viewing Ends
There will be no camping this year.
Location and Directions
Star Party will be held at Ewing Park (next to the new Ashley Oakland playgroud off of East McKinley).
Due to road construction on Indianola Avenue, the playground is only accessible via East McKinley Avenue.