Date: August 12, 2022
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 pm (and later)
Location: Dix Park, Raleigh, NC
Emily Ann Kolvitz,
Event Attendees: 4000-5000
The weeks leading up to the event were showing very strong registration. With beautiful weather, they all turned out for the event. The storm front passed ealier in the day leaving temps in the 70’s with lower humidity – it felt like Fall. Astronomers began showing up for setup at 7pm, and several guests were bringing their blankets out to the field at the same time. Astronomers were set up a semicircle, near where the Triangle Saxophone “Orchestra” was playing tunes. Sunset occurred a little after 8pm and slowly but surely stars began to appear. Shortly after dark, the moon rose and dominated the sky, particularly to the south. Up earlier was Saturn, and many telescopes were trained on this planet most of the night. Other objects that were shown include (some required EAA to get through the light pollution and moon glow): M13 the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, M57 the Ring Nebula, M20 the Triffid Nebula, M8 the Lagoon Nebula, and Albireo. Towards the end of the night, Jupiter rose above the treetops. The star of the night were the shooting stars, Perseids. Even though all of the light, several bright shooting stars were observed and draw Oooohs and Ahhhhs from the crowd. Like many Fall evenings, the dew hit hard and everything needed to be dried off the next day!
This event was solely astronomy based and brought out over 4000 people from the area. It goes to show the level of interest in astronomy within our community. This also was one of the biggest (if not the biggest) event on the field at Dix Park.
Notes for Next Time:
- Downtown Raleigh is difficult with the light pollution and the full moon did not help – visually it was difficult to show deeper sky objects. More EAA would be helpful!
- Once it became dark, visitors didn’t really know where to get information or where to go to find telescopes. Red lighting strips and/or identifying club volunteers would have been helpful. Perhaps the communication from the registration could be helpful, too
- Volunteers were very late to register. There ended up being a good number of telescopes, but 2/3 of the volunteers signed up in the last 3-4 days before the event. This makes planning difficult.
Perseid Skywatching Event at Dorothea Dix