The summer may be winding down – but it is not over yet! On Monday, August 12, the Adler will hold our annual Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. This event has been an Adler tradition for 7 years now. If skies are clear, guests can expect to see meteors shooting across the skies above them.
I am so excited to be planning this event with my fellow Adler staff members. Knowing that many children and adults will be witnessing their first meteor shower is an awesome thing! Whether this is your first or fiftieth meteor shower, it is sure to be a memorable one. We are in the final stages of planning, which will feature some of the favorite activities from past years, as well as some new aspects. We made sure that the evening will feature something for everyone – families, children, and adults of all ages.
The Perseid meteor shower remains one of the most widely known and reliable showers, appearing every summer in mid-August. Adler Astronomer and this year’s lecturer Larry Ciupik has been going to this annual event for many years. Larry explains the Waxing Crescent Moon sets well before midnight on August 12 this year, so we'll have dark skies for the meteor shower.
“This is the best meteor shower every year! I always enjoy watching for Perseid meteors at a dark site away from the city lights, like Cantigny. The large open area allows you to select a pleasant spot on the lawn to view the meteor shower,” adds Ciupik.
To learn more about what you will be seeing in the sky that night, Adler Astronomer Larry Ciupik will be giving two lectures on the Perseid Meteor Shower in the theater at 7:30 and 9 pm.
Cantigny Park in Wheaton is the perfect setting to view the Perseids. The park is a sprawling, 500-acres and features one of the largest display gardens in the Midwest. I encourage Adler guests to arrive early to enjoy all that Cantigny has to offer before the event programming begins. Guests can walk around the grounds and see all the beautiful gardens and fountains, as well as pack a picnic and take in the beautiful surroundings. Kids will love climbing on 11 tanks in the Tank Park. There is also a playground located north of the main parking lot, past the picnic area.
Adler programming will start at 7 pm and children and families will find plenty of fun activities before the meteor shower begins. In the Visitor Center, guests can check out the Adler’s portable planetarium dome and see clips from planetarium shows for kids. Adler Mission Specialists will be doing science demonstrations and activities for adults and children. Try your chances at astronomy trivia by spinning our wheel and winning prizes. This year we will also have an “I Spy” bingo game for kids to play and win prizes, as well as a professional face painter—so you can get your face painted with cool objects from outer space. Be sure to stop by the Visitor Center to see images from the Adler’s Rare Book and Works on Paper Collections.
I hope you will bring your family and friends to join us on August 12 at Cantigny Park for this Adler tradition. The event is open to both members and the general public, and are available for purchase online. Online advance tickets are $9 for members and $12 for the general public until Sunday, August 11. Tickets are also available for purchase starting at 6 pm at Cantigny for $15 on the day of the event.
I hope to see you there!
Written by Shannon Sudberry, manager of membership and annual fund at the Adler Planetarium.