Preservation Parks campers hope for meteor sightings
If the city's bright lights are obstructing your view of Orion's belt, an upcoming campout will be a great opportunity to see the stars in all their glory.
Preservation Parks of Delaware County will hold its ninth annual Perseid Meteor Shower Campout from 7 p.m. Aug. 11 to 9 a.m. Aug. 12 at Blues Creek Preserve, 9627 Fontanelle Road in Ostrander.
The event is free, but all participants must register. Registration is limited to the first 100 campers. As of Thursday, July 12, there were 25 registered participants.
Saundra McBrearty, Preservation Parks special events coordinator, said Blues Creek is the best place in Delaware County to hold the event.
"It's 15 minutes outside of the main city and is the best Preservation Park to view the stars," she said. "It is far from city lights so it will be darker than any other place."
Telescopes are provided for people to view the sky, the waning quarter-moon, shooting stars and other celestial objects.
McBrearty said campers don't always see shooting stars, but they always have a good time looking for them.
Meteors arise from the constellation Perseus, and the Perseid Meteor Shower has been observed for at least 2,000 years. Each year, the meteor showers peak around Aug. 12, and there are up to 60 meteor sightings per hour, although McBrearty said campers normally don't see that many.
"We usually see two to three meteors throughout the night," she said.
In addition to viewing the sky, there will be a night hike complete with owl calling, information about the sky and a campfire.
"We are limiting the amount of activities we are doing because this event is all about watching the stars," she said.
Participants should bring their own camping gear, chairs, snacks and water. There is no running water or electricity at the park.
All ages are invited to attend, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
McBrearty said the program is a unique opportunity and is one of the only campouts conducted by Preservation Parks.
"It's an opportunity to experience the park at night and be able to sleep in the preservation," she said.
There are some regulations that will be provided to campers upon registration, specifically on the rules of sleeping in the park. Campers are encouraged to eat dinner before arriving, since no cooking of meals will be allowed at the event.
Campers are encouraged to bring flashlights with red lights that will not obstruct the viewing of the sky. Red cellophane will be provided for flashlights after 10 p.m.
To register for the event or for more information, email email@example.com by Aug. 6.