*Special Astro-Events* at St Charles County Parks

In addition to the "Friday Night Open Houses", which are free and open to the public each and 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 and their Zenithal Hourly Rate.

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 being planned for 2021
 [ St Charles County Parks Info:     Phone: 636-949-7535 ( or email:   parks@sccmo.org) ]
[ ASEM Contact info:   Outreach@asemonline.org ]
                             or check our Facebook page


The Perseid Meteor Shower (Aug 11/12)=Weds eve/Thurs AM

—Not yet an "official" St Charles County Parks event.  Join us at Broemmelsiek Park.    Fortunately, this year the moon is just past Last Quarter (Waning Crescent).    *ALL EVENTS ARE DEPENDENT ON THE WEATHER*  Best viewing this year is from 10PM thru 3:30 AM.  Moon is 13% illuminated. Moonset is 9:11 PM CDT on August 11.
            (Dates shown may be affected by local weather.  We may locally choose to observe the night after or even two nights after if necessary.)

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 Perseids 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.



Not yet an "official" St Charles County event. 

In 2021, the peak of the Geminids coincides with a 78% illuminated Moon, so conditions are NOT ideal. It is one of the most active showers of the year, and in some years is the strongest, with a peak rate of around 100 meteors per hour. It is the one major shower that shows good activity before midnight (the constellation of Gemini is well placed from 10:00PM onward).

Hunting for meteors, like the rest of astronomy, is a waiting game, so it's best to bring a comfy chair to sit on and to wrap up warm as you could be outside for a while. They can be seen with the naked eye so there's no need for binoculars or a telescope, though you will need to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark.

It is best not to look directly at the radiant as this can limit the number of meteors you see. Try instead to look just to the side in a dark area of sky and you will be more likely to catch sight of some meteors with long trails!

Moonset is 1:57 AM CST.  So the best observing time will be 2AM - 5AM on the 14th.

Geminid facts

  • Together with the Quadrantids, the Geminids are the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet.
  • The beautiful streaks we see in the night sky can actually be caused by particles as small as a grain of sand!
  • Geminids were first observed in 1862, much more recently than other showers such as the Perseids and Leonids.
  • The Geminids are thought to be intensifying every year.