Allen County Parks Offers Two Stargazing Events


The Allen County Park Department is offering two opportunities for the casual stargazer to get a closer look at the night sky during August. Visit Metea County Park on Saturday, August 10 for a Perseids Meteor Shower Watch. A summer astronomy class is also being offered at Fox Island Nature Center from August 21-24.

For a few weeks in August an enchanting display of shooting stars, or meteors, radiate from the constellation Perseus just below and left of Cassiopeia, the summer W. Known as the Perseid Meteor Shower, an impressive amount of solar system debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere, vaporizes due to friction and then streaks across the sky.

The Perseids are known for their long tails or streaks. Look anywhere from 30 degrees to 80 degrees above the northeast horizon from late July until August 22. Astronomers state the best time to observe the most meteors occurs from August 11-13.

On Saturday, August 10, a Perseids Meteor Shower Watch will be held at Metea County Park from 9 PM to midnight. Come out to the dark viewing area of Metea County Park to see meteors streak across the night sky. Meet Education Director Bob Dispenza as he offers telescopic observing of other celestial objects. See and hold real meteorites that came from “out there”.

Metea County Park is located at 12621 Union Chapel Road in Leo, Indiana. Bring insect repellant and lawn chairs or sleeping pads to lie on while you wait for the “shooting stars”. Park admission is $2.00 for people 7 and over. Call 449-3180 for more information.

Bob Dispenza will also be offering a summer astronomy class for adults at Fox Island Nature Center on August 21, 22, 23, and 24. Mr. Dispenza invites anyone interested in stargazing to expand their horizons to infinity by attending these classes. The classes meet each night from 7:30 to 9 PM.

The first night will be about how to observe the stars and different types of viewing devices. Bring binoculars or your own telescope if you have one. Mr. Dispenza will be able to give you some tips on getting the most from your telescope. If the weather cooperates, students will be able to view the heavens with telescopes set up at the Fox Island Observatory after every class session. Make sure you also bring insect repellent.

The second night students will learn about the constellations, the third about the solar system and the last night about galaxies, nebulae and other distant objects. The class fee is $20.00 for the series and includes some great handout materials. You will also receive a star wheel to help you navigate the night sky. Call 449-3180 to reserve your space.

Join Bob Dispenza and the Allen County Parks this August for some enchanting evenings of scanning the majestic night skies. Catch a glimpse of a shooting star or come and learn about the wonders of our universe.

Happy Stargazing!

The Waynedale News Staff
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