(UNDATED) - Stargazers will be well rewarded when the annual Perseid Meteor Shower hits its peak this month on August 10 to the 13.
To get the best view of the stellar fireballs, viewers will want to shake themselves awake during the early morning and predawn hours. Once outside, move away from light sources and keep an eye out for the long streaks of the 'falling stars,' which can reach up to 90 an hour. Although the meteor shower lasts from July 17 to Aug. 24, the morning of Aug. 12 will prove the best for viewing.
For those intrepid astronomers who are surrounded by city lights or hampered by cloudy skies, there are a few options for viewing the event via the Internet.
UK Meteor Watch has launched UKMON Live. The site displays images of meteors as they are caught on camera. While you may not be able to have the experience of watching the meteors shoot across the sky, it has the added benefit of an accompanying Twitter commentary.
In the past NASA has provided a live stream of the event on their Ustream channel and most likely will again.
Monroe Lake is inviting people to Paynetown State Recreation Area on Monday, Aug. 12, for a Perseid meteor shower party.
The party runs from 9:15 to 10:30 p.m. at Deer Run Shelter.
Monroe Lake naturalist Jill Vance will explain the origin of the Perseid meteors at 9:15 p.m. Visitors are then invited to munch on snacks, make a space-themed craft and watch for "shooting stars."
Vance recommends bring a blanket.
"You can lie down and gaze up for the best, and widest, view of the sky overhead," she said. "When you're sitting in a chair, it's a bit uncomfortable to keep your head tilted back the whole time."
The program will be canceled in the event of overcast or stormy skies. Call the Paynetown Activity Center at (812) 837-9967 between 7 and 8:30 p.m. the day of the party to check program status.
Paynetown State Recreation Area is at 4850 S. State Road 446, Bloomington. The entrance fee is $5 per in-state vehicle or $7 per out-of-state vehicle.
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