August 12th Field Trip - Perseids Meteor Showers


**Keep checking back here on the website for updated info.**

As of today's (7/27/16) update, we're going to meet at 11pm on Friday, Aug. 12th at the Flamingo tent campground. If this is your first time with us, Flamingo is the last stop on the main park road within the southern area of Everglades National Park. Its is easily found on any online map service.

Map of Flamingo area.

Map of Flamingo area.

Flamingo Campground is located past the marina, past the visitors center, and past the Eco Pond area. Just keep following the road towards the camping area. You will come to a fork in the road. To the right are the pull in campsites, and to the left is the open tent camping area. This is where we will be. There are 2 sets of buildings set up in this section (they are bathrooms), we'll set up near the first one. There's lots of room to spread out.

Some celestial information about this afternoon/evening/night. Friday, August 12 the moon rises at 3:20pm, and the sun will set at 8pm. In the early morning hours of Saturday, August 13th, the moon sets at 2:30am slightly south of due west, and the sun rises at approximately 7am. The moon that night is called the "waxing gibbous" and is about 70-78% full. Pretty bright. But, according to the information listed below:
"Despite the waxing gibbous moon interfering with the show, the Perseid meteor shower should still put on a good show. For maximum results, watch after moon set and before dawn August 11, 12 and 13."
According to this, the best show will be between 2 or 3am to about 5 or 6am. Bring lots of coffee! Its gonna be a long night! :)

Do bring:

  • Tripod- Highly recommended
  • Remote Shutter Release Cable or Intervalometer - also highly recommended, but not totally necessary. You can also buy one if you don't have one. They only cost about $25 online. But if not, you can set your camera up with its timer if you don't have one.
  • Widest and fastest lens, whatever your lowest mm and lowest f-stop lens you have. I (Barb) only have a kit lens (18-55mm f3.5-5.6) and it will work ok. I don't recommend buying one just for this shoot. Bring what you've got.
  • Flashlight - to see where you're going and to help you set up.
  • LOTS of bug spray, ThermoCells, Bug Suits, long sleeve shirts and long pants. Anything to keep the bugs off of you. This is the middle of wet season in the biggest swamp in the world. The mosquitoes are very active!
  • Snacks/water/coffee/sodas.
  • Lawn chairs. Let's be comfortable!

Here's some information on the Perseids.

August 12, 2016 before dawn, the Perseids
The Perseid meteor shower is perhaps the most beloved meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. The rather bright waxing gibbous moon staying out until after midnight will obtrude on this year’s shower, especially in the evening hours. Your best bet is to watch after moonset and before dawn August 12. The Perseid shower builds gradually to a peak, often produces 50 to 100 meteors per hour in a dark sky at the peak, and, for us in the Northern Hemisphere, this shower comes when the weather is warm. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn. They radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus the Hero, but, as with all meteor shower radiant points, you don’t need to know Perseus to watch the shower; instead, the meteors appear in all parts of the sky. They are typically fast and bright meteors. They frequently leave persistent trains.

Every year, you can look for the Perseids to peak around August 10-13. Predicted peak morning in 2016: August 12. The Perseids combine with the Delta Aquarid shower (above) to produce a dazzling display of shooting stars on what are, for us in the N. Hemisphere, warm summer nights. In 2016, as always, the Perseid meteors will be building to a peak from early August until the peak nights; afterwards, they drop off fairly rapidly. Despite the waxing gibbous moon interfering with the show, the Perseid meteor shower should still put on a good show. For maximum results, watch after moonset and before dawn August 11, 12 and 13.

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower