Starry NightName: Starry NightDate: August 12, 2017 - August 13, 2017Event Description:
Join Andrea Dobson, Whitman College's astronomy department chair, for an evening of viewing the Perseid meteor shower, one of the brightest meteor showers of the year, at the Braden Ranch. The Perseid meteor shower occurs when the Earth, in its orbit, intersects tiny bits of rock left behind by a comet. This year we will witness the remnants of the Swift-Tuttle comet.
Because Earth is running into a cloud of particles, the meteors appear to come from roughly the same location in the sky, a point called the radiant. The radiant for this shower is in the constellation Perseus, which, in the middle of the night in August, is high in the northeast for observers in North America.
Dobson is Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Astronomy, Director of the Clise Planetarium, and a 1982 Whitman alumna. She earned a Ph.D. in Astronomy at New Mexico State University in 1987 and joined the Whitman faculty in 1989. Since 2012 she has been leading the renovation of a 30-inch telescope house in an observatory on one of the Whitman farms.