Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party 2017

UIS Astronomy-Physics and Lincoln Memorial Garden to host Perseid meteor shower viewing event


The University of Illinois Springfield Astronomy-Physics Program and Lincoln Memorial Garden will host a special Star Party to view the annual Perseid meteor shower.

In case of clouds there will be a talk about the upcoming solar eclipse at the nature center.


On the night of Saturday, August 12 the Star Party will start at 8pm and run until midnight.


Lincoln Memorial Garden, 2301 East Lake Drive, Springfield, Ill.


The Perseids meteor shower takes place annually in the beginning of August when the Earth passes through a stream of debris crossing the Earth’s orbit from the comet Swift-Tuttle. In 2017 the shower is predicted to peak between August 11 and August 13.

This year the Moon sets in the late evening during the peak dates, making the morning hours also the darkest hours to look for meteors.  We are holding this viewing event in the evening but we encourage you to go out around these dates after midnight and before dawn to catch the full effect of the shower.

The Perseid meteor show is known for producing more fireball type meteors than any other meteor shower. In a dark location on any given night you between 3-5 meteors per hour can be spotted. During the peak of a shower like the Perseids one may observe up to 60 meteors per hour.

People attending the before dawn event at Lincoln Memorial Garden should park in the spaces just off East Lake Shore Drive. Observing will be done in Crawly Meadow across the street from the nature center. Attendees are encouraged to wear bug repellant, dress appropriately for the cool pre-dawn hours, and bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

The meteor viewing may be canceled for cloudy weather. Questions about whether the weather is suitable for viewing should be directed to 217/206-8342 after 7 p.m. on August 12. Or updates will be posted on the UIS Observatory Twitter feed (@UISObservatory). For more information on Star Parties, contact John Martin at 217/206-8342 or Joel Horwedel at Lincoln Memorial Gardens at 217/529-1111.

In the event of cloudy weather John Martin will give a presentation about the August 12 solar eclipse in the nature center starting at 8pm.


The University of Illinois Springfield is a premier public university that provides students with a high-quality liberal arts education, exceptional public affairs opportunities, and outstanding professional preparation programs. UIS has four core strengths: (1) a teaching-focused academic experience; (2) an abundance of opportunities to collaborate; (3) a right-sized supportive community; and (4) a tradition of educating public servants and leaders. UIS has four colleges: business and management; education and human services; liberal arts and sciences; and public affairs and administration.

Lincoln Memorial Garden is a 110-acre woodland and prairie garden located on the shores of Lake Springfield. The Lincoln Memorial Garden Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation, manages the Garden as a public facility. Its maintenance, programs and events are funded by donations. The Foundation’s purpose is to manage and fund the preservation and improvement of the garden, established as a living memorial to Abraham Lincoln, consistent with Jens Jensen’s design philosophy and to provide opportunities for children and adults to learn about the environment.