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Santa Monica College Planetarium to Prepare Skywatchers for Perseid Shower


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By Lookout Staff

July 15, 2018 -- The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will prepare skywatchers next moth for one of the most anticipated celestial wonders of the year, the Perseid meteor shower.

The Planetarium will present two shows -- on August 3 and 10 -- before the showers reach their peak on the night of August 12-13 when the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour.

Perseid Meteor Shower
Photo by Matthew Dieterich courtesy of National Park Foundation

In "outburst years," the rate can reach between 150 and 200 per hour, according to astronomers.

"The presentation will discuss the nature of these 'falling stars,' as well as provide tips for getting the best views of them," Planetarium officials said.

"This year’s Perseid meteor shower will be visible in a sky free of moonlight, so a trip away from city lights should be a rewarding one for those willing to stay up after midnight for the peak of activity."

During the shower's peak, the crescent moon will set before midnight, making the Perseids perhaps the best shower of 2018, astronomers predict.

The Perseids -- which were named because they appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus -- are associated with the comet Swift–Tuttle.

The comet travels on a 133-year orbit ejecting particles that have been part of its cloud for more than 1,000 years.

The feature shows and a telescope viewing session take place at 8 p.m. and are preceded at 7 p.m. by “The Night Sky Show,” which offers "the latest news in astronomy and space exploration, a family-friendly 'tour' of the constellations and answers to astronomy-related questions.

The John Drescher Planetarium, which features a Digistar projection system, is located near the elevators on the second floor of Drescher Hall, 1900 Pico Boulevard.

Tickets are available at the door and cost $11 ($9 seniors and children) for the evening’s scheduled “double bill," or $6 ($5 seniors age 60 and older and children age 12 and under) for a single show or telescope-viewing session.

For more information call (310) 434-3005 or visit All shows are subject to change or cancellation without notice.


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