Chicago viewing parties for Perseid meteor shower

Near South SideUptown

The Illinois Science Council is inviting Chicagoland residents to shower with friends this weekend at three area beaches.

The council is hosting viewing parties to watch the annual Perseid Meteor Shower from 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday at 12th Street Beach on the Near South Side and Montrose Beach in Uptown. A separate viewing party will be held from 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Lighthouse Beach Park in Evanston.

"If the skies are clear, hopefully people would be able to see some shooting stars," said Monica Metzler, executive director of the council, an organization that hosts events to promote science.

The Perseid shower occurs every August when the Earth passes through a cloud of particles ejected from the Swift-Tuttle comet. For more information about the Perseid, the council is hosting a free presentation with an astromer and geologist from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Evanston's Levy Community Center, 300 Dodge Ave.

The Chicago Weather Center is predicting clear skies for Saturday and Sunday.

For the viewings, the hours for the 12th Street and Montrose beaches will be extended to midnight, but stargazers will not be allowed to swim in the lake. They should be watching the sky anyway.

"Stargazing is a patient activity," Metzler said. "This isn't a fireworks display. This is a patient thing. Open your eyes and relax and watch for the occasional shooting star."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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