NEWS SERVICES 

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Event Brief

For immediate use

Aug. 6, 2007

Public invited to free skywatching session for Perseid meteor shower Aug. 12

Watch the Perseid meteor shower at a special skywatching session on Sunday, Aug. 12, at Jordan Lake, hosted by UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

Planetarium educators will be at Jordan Lake’s Ebenezer Church Recreation Area (off U.S. 64) from 9 to 11 p.m. for this free public event.  Participants can view Jupiter and some of its moons through telescopes as well as watch meteors streaming across the sky.  Bring family and friends, lawn chairs or blankets and a cooler of snacks and sodas for a fun evening of skywatching.

Please note that the skywatching session may be cancelled if weather conditions do not permit clear viewing. Please call the planetarium at (919) 962-1236 or check www.moreheadplanetarium.org to confirm the session.

The Perseid meteor shower appears annually in August and spans several days.  Its meteors are known as the Perseids because the meteors appear from the same part of the sky as the constellation Perseus.  Although the meteor shower varies in intensity from year to year, viewers can sometimes see as many as 60 meteors per hour at the shower’s peak.  The meteors are actually bits of space debris left in the wake of the comet Swift-Tuttle, and this debris burns in Earth’s atmosphere as our planet orbits through the comet’s trail each year.

Morehead Web site: http://www.moreheadplanetarium.org
Morehead contact: Karen Kornegay, (919) 843-7952 or kck@unc.edu
News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415 or susan_houston@unc.edu