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Fort Frederick State Park Hosts Astronomy Program and Viewing of Perseid Meteor Shower

Big Pool, Md. (August 6, 2012) ─ Nature-lovers are invited to observe and marvel at the vast night sky during an evening of star-gazing starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 11 at Fort Frederick State Park. Led by the park naturalist, the event coincides with the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower.

“The Perseid meteor is the most dependable meteor shower and it occurs under favorable viewing conditions this year,” said Charles Sullivan, the program’s coordinator. “Observers may expect to see as many as 60 meteors per hour; however, the best time for seeing Perseids is during early predawn.”

The park’s dark skies are ideal for astronomical observation, as light pollution is minimal. As always, amateur astronomers are encouraged to bring their own instruments, including binoculars, for viewing deep sky objects. While the Perseids are best seen with the unaided eye, observers are also encouraged to take advantage of the 10-inch Dobsonian telescope featured at the park.

Light snacks and refreshments will also be provided. Overnight camping is available for $15 per site for those wishing to see the meteor shower. Attendees will meet at the nature center, which is adjacent to Captain Wort’s store across from the fort. In the event of clouds or rain, the program will be cancelled. Astronomy programs will also be offered in September and October.

Fort Frederick State Park is located off Interstate I-70 at State Route 56 in Big Pool. More information is available by calling the park at 301-842-2155 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.


   August 6, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov