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Monte Sano State Park


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Perseids Meteor Shower Viewing at Camp Maranatha- August 11


VBAS is partnering with Camp Maranatha to view the Perseid meteor shower the evening of Saturday, August 11, 2018. Viewing will be at Camp Maranatha's dark sky location on the lovely shores of Lake Guntersville.

The Perseids are the most popular meteor show of the year and are expected to be good this year. The moon is nearly new and will set shortly after sunset--that means the sky should be nice and dark for this year's shower.

The peak of the Perseids occurs on Sunday after midnight and predicted as 90 meteors per hour (Zenith Hourly Rate).

But, since the Perseids have a broad viewing period starting in mid-July and going all the way through August 24, Saturday night should also be good.


Sunset is at 7:39 PM and guests can begin arriving at 5 PM. The radiant in Perseus is always above the horizon and gets higher as the night progresses transiting after sunrise. Sunrise is at 6:04 AM.

Camp Maranatha is hosting a youth conference and several groups of scouts, so volunteers are needed to set up telescopes. We expect to view some of our favorite planets and deep sky objects. Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars will all be up at sunset. Mars should be spectacular just having passed opposition and closest approach. Please contact Eric Silkowski at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 571-205-3833 to volunteer.

We will have a presentation on meteors at 7 pm and have our VBAS meteor collection on display for show and tell. We will take up a collection to order pizza and beverages.

Don't forget to bring your favorite lounge chair and insect spray!

The general public is invited and children accompanied by adults are welcomed.

Viewing is free, but Camp Maranatha is asking guests to register. Camp Maranatha has Lakeside rooms available for $60 and Hogans for $40 which includes a breakfast of juice, coffee, pastries, and fruit. Camp Maranatha information and reservations at 256-574-4539 or (that's C A M P, not .com!)

Directions to Camp Maranatha are on their website. From Huntsville, take U.S. 72 East, turn South onto County Road 114 before crossing the bridge (North Sauty Causeway). Continue 3 miles and cross Alabama 79 at stop sign onto County Road 76. Bear left and follow the blacktop road one mile to Maranatha’s entrance.


05:00 PM Guests begin to arrive, telescopes being set up

07:00 PM Presentation on meteors, display of meteorites, Pizza

07:39 PM Sunset - Radiant in Perseus, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars are up!

08:08 PM Moon sets, 0.03% illuminated

09:36 PM Venus sets

11:33 PM Jupiter sets

11:40 PM Mars Transits

02:37 AM Saturn sets

04:26 AM Mars sets

06:04 AM Sunrise

06:04 AM Radiant in Perseus Transits

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