By Maddy PUMILIA
It was a night for star gazing on Saturday and what better place to do so than Deukmejian Wilderness Park?
The City of Glendale Community Services and Parks Department invited the public to the park for an evening of viewing the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, which was peaking Saturday evening.
“This event is a star grazing event,” said Marc Stirdivant, senior administrative analyst of the City of Glendale Community Services and Parks Department. “We hope to see meteors but we do have a full moon so it may be difficult.”
About 100 star gazers came to Deukemejian to see the Perseid meteors fall in the sky despite it being more difficult this year than last because of the full moon. On hand was Bob Alborzian from Sidewalk Astronomers who educated the public on what was being displayed.
In addition to viewing the meteors, Sidewalk Astronomers brought three reflecting telescopes, which Alborzian made. Two of the telescopes were pointed at Saturn and the other at the moon. Alborzian said the image of Saturn seen through the telescope took an hour and a half to reach viewers. When Saturn disappeared due to the Earth’s rotation, the telescopes were then aimed at the double binary star Albireo and at the handle of the big dipper. Star gazers were invited to look through the telescopes.
“It’s important to have appreciation for [space objects],” Alborzian said.
Many meteors are smaller than a grain of salt and leave a streak of light as they vaporize when reaching Earth’s atmosphere. They travel 13 to 14 miles per second.
The City of Glendale Community Services and Parks Dept., City’s Trails and Open Space program is actually funded by the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation. Guests at Saturday’s event enjoyed astronomy themed snacks like Moon Pies, Starbursts and Milky Way bars. They were also provided with red covers for flashlights, making it easier to see the meteors careen across the sky.
“It’s a great experience and it’s a nice community event,” said Cindy Brines.
“We knew it’d be a nice night out with the full moon,” agreed her husband Mike.
“I think it’s great how many people are here,” said visitor Frank Foti. “It’s great people have an interest. I hope next year more people will show up.”