Travel far away from those annoying city lights to view these meteor showers under the pristine dark skies of Kitt Peak, YOUR National Observatory! Festivities begin late and stretch into the wee hours of the morning as we observe some of Nature’s most spectacular cosmic shows. Learn about meteors, comets, meteor showers, and touch an actual piece of an asteroid. Refreshments will be provided.
Adults and families with children 8 years or above are encouraged to attend.
DATES FOR 2014:
Monday, May 5th
Here’s a nice, dependable little shower that we haven’t tried viewing before. The meteors are pieces of Halley’s Comet that broke away from the comet’s nucleus several hundred years ago. And the weather will be a bit warmer this time of year also.
Friday, May 23rd - NOTE: This date has changed from the 24th.
On this night we MAY get a possible Meteor STORM! Mathematical predictions indicate that debris from the recent pass of comet LINEAR may give us a Zenith Hourly Rate (ZHR) of 1000 per hour. (NOTE: Kitt Peak makes no guarantees about the actual performance of this shower. We will be watching and hoping for the best right along with the rest of you.)
Monday, July 28th
Would you believe three meteor showers all peaking at right about the same date? This is what we will have on a nice, warm summer night this year. Although these showers do not have high Zenith Hourly Rates (ZHR) individually, taken together we should get a plethora of meteors. And we’ll have an opportunity to count meteors from three separate radiants at the same time.
Wednesday, October 22nd
A steady, reliable shower year after year, with a respectable Zenith Hourly Rate (ZHR). These meteors also come from Halley’s Comet, but from the more recent past than the Eta Aquarids.
Saturday, December 13th
The year’s Star Attraction for meteors (pun definitely intended). With a predicted ZHR of 120 nice, slow meteors. For those well dressed and ready for the cold, this is one not to miss (and it’s on a convenient Saturday night this year as well).
DATES FOR 2015:
Wednesday, August 12th
Summer's meteoric tour de force. Expect up to 120 meteors per hour! Warm nights, a high number of meteors, nice dark skies, what more could anyone ask? Well, we could ask for a guarantee that monsoon weather will not cloud us out. But if we could predict the future, we would be professional lottery players rather than astronomers. Still, we’re going to give this a try. When the weather cooperates, these summer Perseid showers are simply magical.
Tuesday, November 17th
The Leonid shower doesn't have a high hourly rate like a couple of other meteor showers we could name. But it's a solid, consistent performer known for producing slow, bright meteors that tend to leave long, beautiful trails behind them. A great Moon phase this year also guarantees a beautiful dark night.
Sunday, December 13th
The year’s Star Attraction for meteors (pun definitely intended). With a predicted ZHR of 120 nice, slow meteors. For those well dressed and ready for the cold, this is one not to miss. This year the peak is late on Sunday night, which means you may need to take the following Monday off work. But hey, that just gives you an awesome meteor shower AND a long weekend! It’s a win-win
10 PM - 3 AM
(Yes folks… we’re staying up LATE! But return shuttles to the parking area will run at 1:00 AM and 2:00 AM as well.)
The Kitt Peak Visitor Center
Park in picnic area, 1 mile below the summit.
Kids (ages 8-16) $25
Kitt Peak Members receive a $5 discount
Tohono O'odham Tribal Members Free
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
You may cancel at any time up to 48 hours prior to the program date without any penalty. A $20 per person cancellation fee will be charged for those who cancel less than 48 hours prior to the program date. If we are forced to cancel the program ourselves, you will not be charged anything.
On the day of the program we will make a “weather call” and determine if the program will proceed as scheduled or not. Assuming the weather cooperates, the per-person fee will be charged automatically at this time. You will receive a copy of your receipt at check-in time.
If a last-minute emergency or other situation comes up so that some or all of your group cannot make it, please let us know as soon as possible. It may save you money, and will allow us to fill the empty space with others from our waiting list.
Please register with our new online system, or
Call (520) 318-8726 to register.
Call (520) 318-8736 if you have any questions.
Or email the Program Coordinator at: email@example.com
(It’s easier to reach me via email than by phone.)
DRESS WARM! Hats gloves and layered clothing required!
Bring sleeping bags or blankets to lie on the ground if you wish. Lawn chairs are permitted as long as they are the “director’s chair” type that fold up small and fit into a tube-like sack.
Enjoy our snacks and refreshments.
PLEASE DO NOT:
Arrive before 9:00 PM.
Drive to the top of the mountain!
Parking will be provided at the picnic area and guests will be shuttled to the Visitor Center.
Bring weapons, alcohol, or pets.
Use cell phones, white lights, or green lasers while on the Mountain.
Smoke anywhere on Kitt Peak.
Image of Perseid Meteor above the road to Kitt Peak provided by Sean Parker. Used with permission. Copyright Sean Parker Photography, all rights reserved.