Perseids Shooting Stars
12 August 2023. As Earth passes through the debris trail left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle, particles of space dust enter the atmosphere leaving a trail of light behind; a shooting star. Join us for an informative talk to learn more about this fascinating yearly event. If the weather is good you will also have the opportunity to view through the historic telescopes.
The Perseids meteor shower occurs as Earth passes through the outskirts of a cloud of debris from comet Swift-Tuttle. The dust and bits of rock left behind are called meteoroids. As they enter the Earth's atmosphere they disintegrate with the larger pieces producing bright streams - meteors - that you can see with the unaided eye before they fade away. These bright streams are also known as shooting stars and can be seen from 17th July until 24th August. The maximum is actually on the night of the 12th and the pre-dawn hours of the 13th August when you may see up to 60-80 shooting stars per hour. This year there will be no Moon to spoil the show and you should even be able to see the fainter meteors.
PLEASE NOTE: Gates open at 6.30pm and there will be a talk at 9pm by a guest speaker. All the exhibits will be available for you to explore when you arrive. While you don't need to arrive at 6.30pm the gates will be closed at 8pm so please arrive before then.
If you wish to purchase hot food on the night then our Launch Box will be open from 6.30pm - 8.30pm before the talk starts. The Launch Box serves:
- Burger & Fries
- Falafel Burger & Fries
- Frankfurter Hot Dog & Fries
Food will only be available from The Launch Box between 6.30pm and 9pm. The Cafe will also be open for hot/cold drinks and snacks plus alcoholic beverages.
The evening aims to be both informal and informative. Following the talk, if the weather is nice and clear you will have the opportunity to try and spot some fast moving meteors with the unaided eye and look through the telescopes at other interesting celestial objects.
If the weather is unsuitable for viewing, the talk will go ahead regardless and a comprehensive tour of the telescopes will replace viewing. On the tour you will be taken into domes not open to the public during the day. We do NOT cancel this event if the weather is unsuitable for viewing.
Numbers are limited to 100 (age 18+ only), so book early to secure your place.
If you are looking for a present then a Gift Ticket package for this event is available. Please go to the Gift Ticket page to purchase and find the terms and conditions.
Suitable for adults only
Please wear warm clothing and sensible footware and please bring a torch, preferably red light. The Centre, has been built on different levels with high walkways and steps, please be very careful when walking around The Centre especially in the hours of darkness.
While the Centre makes every effort to accomodate wheel chair users and others with mobility issues, by virtue of the nature of the building (grade II* listed), the telescopes are accessed by steep narrow stairs. If you require further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.
If using Sat Nav, please use ‘Wartling Road’ and NOT our postcode.
PARKING: There is ample free parking on the grassed car park in front of The Centre.
If you are a blue badge holder, there are 5 parking bays available at the back of the science centre, adjacent to our ramped entrance. Please note that by virtue of the historic nature of the building, the domes are accessed by steep narrow stairs.
The Observatory Science Centre reserves the right to cancel a session due to low numbers, in which case an alternative date or full refund would be given.
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The Observatory Science Centre is part of Science Projects Ltd, a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 02186073 and a registered charity No: 298542. The registered office is 3 – 15 Stirling Road, Acton, London. W3 8DJ. UK.