Come early and stay late as Brazos Bend State Park, in cooperation with the George Observatory – Houston Museum of Natural Science, is hosting a Perseid Meteor Shower Watch Party on Saturday, August 13. The Perseid Meteor Shower typically creates fast and bright meteors that radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus and normally cover a large part of the sky. The Perseids are considered by many people to be the year’s best meteor shower when the moon is out of the way during the shower’s peak. Unfortunately, this year’s full moon will not create the best Perseids. Nonetheless, you should be able to catch a good number of Perseid Meteors between 10:00pm and 2:00am. These meteors are often bright and frequently leave persistent trains. Brazos Bend State Park’s dark skies will make it one of the best places around Houston to view the meteors.
The park’s Nature Center is a great place to start your visit. With extended hours for this event, the center will be open from 9:00am – 8:00pm. The park’s Nature Center is full of interactive displays, live animals and “touch table” exhibits. Come see and touch a baby alligator or even a snake! Park staff and volunteers offer at least 3 free nature programs and hikes on Saturdays and Sundays all year long.
From 7:00pm to 8:00pm, the park’s volunteer staff will host an evening wildlife viewing using high-powered spotting scopes at the park’s new Elm Lake Wildlife Viewing Platform. The George Observatory will add to its regular schedule by having trained astronomers available on the elevated observation deck from who will aid visitors in viewing the meteor shower. No special equipment is necessary to see the Perseids. The Astronomy Exhibit Hall opens at 3:00pm. Other celestial viewing is available through its 3 telescopes, including a large 36″ scope. Fee required for telescope viewing.
Tickets go on sale at the Observatory Gift Shop at 5:00pm. Viewing starts at dusk. Public consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Bring a lawn chair, insect repellent and kick back and relax and gaze into the heavens to experience this annual event. Normal park entrance fee required; Adults 13 to 64 ($5), 65 to 78 ($3), Kids are free.
For more information contact Brazos Bend State Park at 979-553-5101 or visit our website at www.brazosbend.org which also contains a link to the George Observatory/Houston Museum of Natural Science.