Break out the alarm clocks. You'll need them to wake up for the fourth annual Perseid meteor shower viewing at Mistletoe State Park Sunday.
"This will be our fourth year to schedule this program, but I think that at least two of them were cancelled due to rainy or overcast weather," said Marilyn Grau, a senior Corps project director. "With overcast weather, or with a bright, bright moon, you can expect to see very little."
What you will see, weather permitting, is an increase in the number of meteors. According to StarDate Online, which offers stargazing dates and tips for maximum viewing, there should be no moonlight to interfere with this year's shower.
"Comets shed the debris that becomes most meteor showers," according to the site. "As comets orbit the sun, they shed an icy, dusty debris stream along the comet's orbit. If Earth travels through this stream, we will see a meteor shower. Depending on where Earth and the stream meet, meteors appear to fall from a particular place in the sky, maybe within the neighborhood of a constellation."
Grau said the largest group to attend a previous meteor shower viewing at Mistletoe was about 10 people.
"As badly as everyone wants to see it, inertia of rest sets in, and when that alarm clock goes off at 2 a.m., it's somehow not as important as it seemed the night before," she said.
"On a clear, dark night you may be blessed with an amazing show of 80 meteors an hour."
This year's event will be held from 3 to 5 a.m. at a lake shore point for optimal viewing. After the display, a breakfast of coffee and cheese grits will be prepared over a campfire. Park entrance and breakfast are free.
Mistletoe State Park is located in Winfield at the end of Mistletoe Park Road, off Cobbham Road. For more information, call (706) 541-0321.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.