KSNH August e-news and Events Update
Now if the Total Solar Eclipse isn't enough to view in the sky this month, try viewing the Perseid Meteor shower:
In 2017, the legendary Perseid meteor shower – the Northern Hemisphere’s best summertime meteor shower – is expected to produce the greatest number of meteors between midnight and dawn on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. This year, however, there is a bright waning gibbous moon in the sky all three mornings. This bright moon will obliterate all but the brightest Perseids meteors. Here’s how to minimize the moon and optimize the 2017 Perseids meteors.
1. Try observing in the evening hours, on the night of August 10, 11 or 12. After full moon on August 7, the moon will be rising later each night. Watch as late at night as you can, but before moonrise. Click here for a custom sunrise/sunset calendar – click box for moonrise/moonset times. You won’t see as many meteors during the evening hours, but you still might catch an earthgrazer, which is a slow-moving and long-lasting meteor that travels horizontally across the sky. If you see one, you’ll have a new appreciation for evening meteor-watching.
2. Or … watch in moonlight between midnight and dawn. Most meteor showers are best after midnight, and the Perseids are no exception. After midnight, the part of Earth you’re standing on has turned into the meteor stream, which means the radiant point for the shower will be above your horizon. After the radiant rises, more meteors are flying … unfortunately, in 2017, in the light of the moon.
3. Sprawl out in a moon shadow. When the moon is up around the shower’s peak dates, it’ll be casting looooong shadows in the sky around late night and early morning. Find a moon shadow somewhere that still provides you with a wide expanse of sky for meteor-viewing. A plateau area with high-standing mountains to block out the moon would work just fine. If you can’t do that, find a hedgerow of trees bordering a wide open field somewhere (though obtain permission, if it’s private land). Or simply sit in the shadow of a barn or other building. Ensconced within a moon shadow, and far from the glow of city lights, the night all of a sudden darkens while the meteors brighten.
4. Avoid city lights. This should go without saying, but just a reminder. A wide open area – a field or a lonely country road – is best if you’re serious about watching meteors.
5. Watch with friend or friends, and try facing in different directions so that if someone sees a meteor, that person can call out “meteor” to the rest.
6. Embrace the moon. We hear people bubble with excitement about seeing meteors in all sorts of conditions – moon or no moon – city lights or no city lights. The Perseids, in particular, tend to have a lot of fireballs. And so, around the nights of the shower, try taking your lawn chair or blanket to a wide open location and bask in the moon’s bright light. You’ll see an occasional fireball streak by. It’ll be beautiful!
I will be making the solar eclipse trip down to Russellville, KY since Hoptown will most probably be one of mass confusion. Russellville is still in the path of total eclipse, but hopefully it will be less clouded. If you need a solar eclipse glasses check out your local Krogers. They had them available near the check out line for $1.99.
The annual KSNH indoor picnic took place for the first time at Beckley Creek Park on July 20, a very hot day. Our youngest members played in the water feature nearby until mealtime. We enjoyed Shack in the Back BBQ pork and chicken as well as delicious homemade side dishes. Berl's sister Judith gave the invocation before dinner.
Our guest speaker was John Studer, a biology graduate from University of Missouri who is presently a horticultural worker in Land Management at Jefferson Memorial Forest. He helps manage over 50 miles of trails, including those in several other Metro Louisville parks. He installs bridges and stairs, rebuilds and clears existing trails, and removes invasive species. Volunteer opportunities to do this kind of work also are available both for individuals and for groups such as scouts and school students. President Berl Meyer recounted building trails with students many years ago at JMF.
Berl Meyer led us in reminiscing about our departed friend Al Boice, who was a long-time contributing member, and outstanding photographer and individual. Some in our group have known him and enjoyed close friendship for almost five decades. He will truly be missed. All donations to the KSNH Scholarship Fund will be in Al's name through August 31. There is a link to this donation on the KSNH website. If you donate, you will receive a letter of appreciation from Mary Alice, our secretary. This is what Al wanted.
In memory of Al Boice.
We have awarded 4 grants for 2017-2018 totaling $2650. I will be posting these summary of the grants in an upcoming e newsletter. Three out of the four are scheduled to present their projects, one has already done so, in our upcoming meetings. .....so if you want to see where this money goes, just attend one or all of our meetings. Lindsay Nason will be giving hers' at our September meeting.
Plans are in the making for our fall conference at Pine Mountain State Resort Park to be held October 13-15. I am planning to lead a trip over to Wilderness Trail State Park/Natural Tunnel in Virginia for one event. That one will be an all day affair. Click Here for the reservation form. Room costs are on the form. Call Pine Mountain for reservations ASAP for this state park is always popular with our members. Call (606) 337-3066 Mention code 1207
Upcoming Events in the neighborhood
Conferences thus far that have been confirmed are:
Fall 2017-Pine Mountain State Resort Park-October 13-14
Spring 2018-Pine Mountain Settlement School-their Wildflower Weekend April 20-23
Fall 2018-Pennyrile State Resort Park-October 20-21
Spring 2019-Shawnee State Park in Ohio-tentative
Meetings at the Louisville Nature Center the 3rd Thursday of the following months: March, May, June, September and November. Our spring conferences are normally held in April (see below for details) and the Fall Conference is normally held in October. July is reserved for our annual picnic and December for our winter dinner.
Check out our website for future events. Just click on the Calendar link on the homepage.
A reminder that our membership year begins on January 1 to December 31 each year. If you are presently a member and have not renewed it's time to do so. Most of the monies collected through dues goes into our Grant Funds and operating expenses for our two conferences. All our officers in the Kentucky Society of Natural History are strictly voluntary so we have no paid positions. You may renew online ( PayPal ) or send in a membership form found through a link on our website. A link to a tax- deductible donation is found there as well.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
......please keep us informed about any address or email changes.