Observing the Perseid Meteor Shower.
On the night of August 11/12th the earth will travel through the dusty remains of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. This will produce a group of fast moving meteors seen low in the northeast shortly after sunset and will last all night. Meteors are seen as a very fast streak of light at night. They are produced when a small dust like particle is pulled down towards the Earth by the Earth’s gravity. It is accelerated so fast that it goes up to 48 miles per second. Friction with the air in our atmosphere heats it so hot that it is incinerated as the air is super-heated causing a streak of light. If the object is slightly larger than a grain of sand it will leave a glowing trail that can last up to a few seconds.
The annual Perseid meteor shower actually lasts for about 2 weeks, but peaks on Thursday night when as much as 100 meteors an hour can be seen over the whole sky. The nice thing about meteor shows is that you do not need any fancy equipment to observe them. Just go out where you have a clear view of the whole sky away from the city lights. Bring a lawn chair so you can lean back and see as much of the sky as possible or spread out a blanket on the ground. Then keep a count of how many you see. It will not quite be like a shower of particles but it will still be fun for the whole family.
This year moonlight will hide the faintest Perseid meteors until midnight when the moon sets, but we should see some nice bright one might show through every few minutes during the night. We will begin observing at 10 pm in the evening until 2 am. at the field across from the residence hall near the baseball field on south part of TAMIU’s campus. This can be found by going in the main entrance of TAMIU and going all the way to end of the road and turning right. Then go past the residence halls on the left and the turn right into the last parking lot. The field is right between the baseball field and the parking lot. The best thing is you do not need any special equipment to see it. So, bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on and enjoy!
General Admission is $4 children and $5 adults.
*Matinee shows $1 less
Schedule subject to change or be cancelled without notice.
Please confirm schedule before your visit.
For show schedules, coming attractions and general information call (956) 326-DOME (3663)