Campus Perseids Meteor shower viewing
SUNY New Paltz Planetarium Director Raj Pandya invited members of the community to a special night of meteor watching and stargazing on Tuesday, Aug. 11.
Each year in August, Earth passes through the trail of debris left behind by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Small bits of dust burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, creating a meteor shower. Shooting stars appear to originate from the constellation Perseus, hence the name, “Perseids.”
This outdoor event took place on the Alumni Soccer Field on the south side of the SUNY New Paltz campus, right next to the Smolen Observatory. Nearly 50 people were in attendence, following social distancing guidelines, with flashlights and blankets in tow to view the constellations and meteor shower.
"Everyone was very respectful and followed all the proper health/safety protocols," said Raj. "Despite some clouds here and there, it was clear enough to see all the constellations, the Milky Way and several meteors, including a 'fireball!'"