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Watch One Of This Year's Brightest Meteor Showers With The Adler Planetarium

By Marielle Shaw in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 11, 2015 2:38PM

The Perseid Meteor Shower, photo by Victor Rogus via The Adler Planetarium Facebook page

It's hard to believe it's already August. But August is still a great time to cross off your seasonal bucket list items, and if one of those items was to spend more time with nature, we've got a perfect, relaxing suggestion for your Wednesday evening: attend a star party.

The kind of stars we're talking about, of course, are in the sky. The Adler Planetarium will be your host Wednesday night in Wheaton's Cantigny Park for the fete, which centers on the Perseid meteor showers.

The Perseid meteors streak through the August sky as a result of the Earth's intersection with the orbital path of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. Debris from the comet enters our atmosphere at speeds of 130,000 mph, burning up and creating a fast moving light show that shouldn't be missed. Meteorologists say it is one of the brightest shower of the year.

Cantigny Park is about a 45-minute drive from downtown, and affords a view that would be impossible to get among the city lights. The event starts at 6 p.m., and picnicking is welcome before dusk. Though no alcohol is allowed, you can get a caffeine fix with the on-site coffee provider. This is a family-friendly event, and will include a scavenger hunt and hands-on science activities for kids as well as a lecture from one of Adler's astronomers.

You can see the Perseids with the naked eye, and the Naperville Astronomy Association and the Chicago Astronomical Society will be providing telescopes to give viewers a closer look. The party will happen rain or shine, and with the expected clear conditions and waning crescent moon, we're expecting a clear, dark sky that should provide near perfect viewing conditions. We're looking forward to spreading out a blanket under the stars, sipping a cold iced tea and forgetting about things planet-side for a while.

Tickets are $12 general admission if purchased by midnight Tuesday, or $15 at the event, with planetarium members receiving a discount. We hope to see you there!