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Amateur Astronomer Offers Tips for Viewing Meteor Showers

Bob Trembley of Chesterfield Township gives tips on watching upcoming meteor showers, including the Taurids this weekend.

Snow showers may be around the corner this year, but a more celestial downpour is sure to pique space observers' fancy.

Meteor showers, including the Taurids this weekend, will be visible this month. The best place to see them is away from town centers, where light pollution obstructs clear viewing. Ideal time frames for watching are "always midnight and even better around 3 a.m. because of earth’s rotation, and how the earth travels through the particle stream that causes the meteor shower," according to Chesterfield Township amateur astronomer Bob Trembley.

According to Trembley's blog post about fall and winter meteor showers, the dates to keep watch are:

Name Date of Peak Moon Taurids (N) Oct. 13-14 Morning crescent Orionids Oct. 21-22 First Quarter Leonids Nov. 17-19 Evening crescent Geminids Dec. 13-14 New Ursids Dec. 22-23 Waxing Gibbous

The Warren Astronomical Society also operates an observatory at Wolcott Mill Metropark/Camp Rotary in Ray Township. Every third Saturday of the month, the club hosts a free open house.

"We have a 12-inch reflector telescope in the dome, and members bring their scopes; usually there are several telescopes available for your use, and enthusiastic astronomers will be happy to give you a tour of the night skies," according to Trembley. The observatory may be reserved any time for groups, such as schools, with advance notice.

The group typically opens the observatory for viewings, such as meteor showers. For more information, visit http://meetup.warrenastro.org/  

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