Do you sometimes wonder what that bright star is that you keep seeing in the nighttime sky? Maybe it’s not even a star at all! To find out what you’re seeing, plan to attend the Winnebago County Conservation Board’s Summer Stargazing program at the Pilot Knob State Park tower. The program will be held on Friday evening, August 13th, beginning at 9:30 PM, and lasting about 45-60 minutes.
Winnebago County Naturalist Lisa Ralls will lead the program this year in a live setting, instead of the online astronomy programs she has done in the past.
What will be special this year is that there will be no moon to obcsure the sighting of the Perseid Meteor Shower.
The shower originates from Earth entering the orbit of debris from the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which takes 133 years to orbit the sun. It was discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle. Stars and meteors are not the only things that will be discussed and viewed according to Ralls.
The WCCB’s Summer Stargazing program will be free of charge and open to the public. People should bring along a flashlight for the walk to and from the tower and star charts will be handed out to all participants to take home after the program. In case of cloudy skies, the program will have to be postponed or canceled and that announcement will run on KIOW Radio (FM 107.3), as well as the WCCB Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WinnebagoCCB) and the WCCB twitter feed (@WinnebagoCCB). For more information about the program, people can contact Winnebago County Naturalist Lisa Ralls at either 641-565-3390 or at [email protected].