Looking for something to do this Saturday night? This Saturday night into Sunday morning early, say from 10:00pm through sunrise on Sunday morning the Perseid Meteor shower is scheduled to appear in force. What are these shooting stars? In August each year, our planet, Earth passes through the debris of the comet Swift-Turtle. As we pass through the debris, dust particles light up as they enter our atmosphere and burn up. The meteor shower appears to come from the constellation of Perseus and thus their name. The best place to view these are not near the city lights or the light dome of Salt Lake City and its outer neighbors, but out in the desert in the dark. There is a group right now that is going to head out to observe these at the Pit n Pole observing location.
If you have followed my blog, you know about the Pit n Pole location but I know some will say, Pit n Pole? It is a location in the West Desert down from 5 Mile Pass. Think I-15 to SR-73 in Lehi and go west on SR-73 pass Eagle Mountain, pass Cedar Fort, over 5 Mile Pass, turning left on the Pony Express road and driving for 4 miles or so down there (see the instructions). This will be a fun night of observing with the scopes and to sit back, enjoy each other's company and watch for the meteors as they fly by. It's a great time to learn the constellations as well. Sounds boring for some, but it is really quite fun. This link will give you directions and I have them on my blog at this link with pictures to help get you there. We'll have an area for telescopes and an area to set up and sit down and observe from.
For this event if your not using a telescope (and you won't need one, just a few of us want to do some observing prior to sitting down and watching the show in the sky) please bring something to sit on like a blanket etc. (it will get dusty from the desert), or a lawn chair or an outdoor chair to sit on. A few reminders. Since some of us will be observing with telescopes, please no white light. I'll have some extra red flashlights you can use. Second, ask if you would like to see what the person using the scope is viewing and I'm sure you'll get a view. Last, there are no restrooms out there so bring toilet paper if you need it (you can go off down one road and there are bushes to hide you). Feel free to bring your favorite non-alcoholic beverage (yes, there will be families here with youngsters here) and a snack or to to munch on. It should be a lot of fun.