St Charles County Parks Events

In addition to the "Friday Night Open Houses", which are free and open to the public every clear Friday evening at Broemmelsiek Park, we have selectively scheduled some special dates this year with the St Charles County Parks department.   These are our "Special Events", and most are related to special astronomical events that we choose to support.  Note that meteor showers can be very negatively affected by a bright moon, so we selectively support them based on visibility.

All Public events feature several telescopes and operators who provide views thru their scopes free of charge.  Both members and non-members bring scopes.  Anyone who needs help with their own scopes are encouraged to bring them, however please have them available for us to help you with them before sundown.  If your scope is working fine, but you'd like help to find some objects, please just ask one of our members (most of which will have a name tag).  We are glad to help you find things with your scope, please ask!  It is a public park - you are welcome, please have fun and remember that we are volunteers.

General rules at star parties apply to help all of us retain our night vision.  Please avoid bringing flashlights (unless they are red or covered by red plastic, and kept pointed "downward") or any other lighted devices.  Try to avoid shining car headlights at the telescope field as you park or leave, else please minimize it as much as possible while remaining safe (use your parking lights).   
Again, we are at Broemmelsiek Park every Friday night if the weather allows. 

Here are the "Special Events" events planned for 2018
 [ St Charles County Parks Info:     Phone: 636-949-7535 ( or email: ]
[ ASEM Contact info: ]
                             or check our Facebook page

The MARS opposition of 2018

—best since 2003 (which was best in 60,000 yrs).  This time “only” 1.2 Million miles further from us than in 2003.  
—This year, Mars will be brighter than Jupiter (~ July 7 thru Sept 7). 
—Opposition is July 31.  Mars will be > 24 arc seconds in size (97% of 2003’s max), from July 23 to Aug 9.
ASEM will plan to "show case" MARS at our FRIDAY NIGHT OPEN HOUSES at Broemmelsiek Park, from July 20 thru August 13.

The Perseid Meteor Shower (Aug 12/13)=Sun eve/Mon AM

—Join us at Broemmelsiek Park.     New Moon is SAT. Aug 11, so that is good too!
—Depending on the weather, Saturday —Aug 11 might be the best night, although Aug 12-13 is the traditional peak.

Per the American Meteor Society:
The Perseids are the most popular meteor shower as they peak on warm August nights as seen from the northern hemisphere. The Perseids are active from July 13 to August 26. They reach a strong maximum on August 12 or 13, depending on the year. Normal rates seen from rural locations range from 50-75 shower members per hour at maximum.The Persesids are particles released from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle during its numerous returns to the inner solar system. They are called Perseids since the radiant (the area of the sky where the meteors seem to originate) is located near the prominent constellation of Perseus the hero when at maximum activity.

FINALLY, some decent comets!!   (per Seiichi Yoshida

Comets are like cats, both have tails and you never know what they are going to do.  Still, the predictions are favorable for a change.  Naked-eye views are possible when magnitude is 6 or less.  Binoculars are still good to bring.  Comets often have no tails, just "hairy" stars (root of the word 'comet' means "hair").  So some have short hair, some have long hair.  So it goes.  If you want to photograph one, use a steady tripod, and set a timer or use a remote release to avoid shaking the camera.  Usually 4-8 seconds exposure does well with a 200mm lens or less.

—21P Giacobini-Zinner :
- Evenings      mag 8 - mag 7          July - Aug
- Mornings   mag 7 - mag 6           July – Oct
—C/2017 S3 (PanSTARRS)
- Mornings   mag 7 - mag 5           July – Aug
—46P Wirtanen
- Nights  mag 8                                Oct
- Evenings  mag 4 - mag 3             Nov – Dec
- Evenings  mag 4                           Jan