Friday, July 31, 2009

Emiquon hosts meteor shower event

A late evening star-gazing event called “Meteors and Thompson Lake – 2009,” will be held at Thompson Lake on The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve, located between Havana and Lewistown, from Tuesday, August 11, at 8 p.m. until Wednesday, August 12, at 1 a.m.

This program is free and open to the public and is presented by the University of Illinois Springfield’s Emiquon Field Station in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy. UIS professor Dr. John Martin will be the guest lecturer, and members of the Sangamon Astronomical Society will also be present to share views of the night sky through their telescopes.

The event will take advantage of the peak display of the Perseids Meteor Shower, the annual mid-August display of “falling stars.” As the sky becomes dark after sundown, the meteor showers should be readily visible.

Martin, assistant professor of Astronomy/Physics, will help guide sky-watchers as they view the meteor shower. Dr. Michael Lemke, associate professor of Biology and director of the Emiquon Field Station, will be available to share information regarding the station and associated wetland ecological research.

Participants should gather after 8 p.m. at the lakeside entrance to Thompson Lake, located directly off Illinois Rts. 97/78, approximately one-half mile north of the Dickson Mounds turnoff. A sign will be posted at the entrance. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets.

Everyone entering the property will be asked to sign a liability waiver. Participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult and must have their waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.

For more information, contact Dr. Michael Lemke at 217/206-7339 or lemke.michael@uis.edu.

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