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Shooting stars, comets or bolides. No matter what you call them, these visual dazzlers highlight summer's spectacular light show -- the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Each year from mid-July through August, the earth passes through the long trail of interplanetary debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
These tiny specks of dirt, often no larger than a grain of sand, hit the earth's atmosphere at high speed, rub against air particles, heat up and disintegrate in flashes that create nature's radiant display.
In normal years, Perseid meteors range from 80 to 100 an hour, but this year, according to the American Meteor Society, the celestial show will appear twice as impressive with estimated of 150 to 200 meteors per hour.
The best time to see the free event is from midnight on, but it's important to find a vista with a wide-sky view, as far away as possible from street lights and pollution.
Take a blanket or reclining lawn chair, lie down and look to the northeast (toward Ashtabula). Let your eyes acclimate to the dark and watch for the shooting stars.
Leave the binoculars and telescopes at home since both instruments will narrow your perspective. This show is all about viewing as much sky as possible.
2016's stargazer's spectacle will peak between Aug. 11 and 12, but comets should remain visible for the next two weeks.
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Oops. Kim Pease apologizes for the mixup of dates posted on the Moebius Nature Center website and reported in this column last month.
The center's Midsummer Night's Dream event will instead be Aug. 13 at 6 p.m.
Once again, fairies and princesses, super heroes and their families are all invited to share the magic. Costumes are welcome at this fun evening of crafts, campfire food and a lantern launch.
Registration is required to ensure there are enough craft supplies for each child. Confirm your space by visiting www.mymnc.org.
Later that evening, no registration is required to enjoy a moonlight hike under the waxing gibbous moon and, of course, Aug. 13 is nearly the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower. Bring your ground cover and look to the northeast.
Moebius Nature Center is located at 929 East Mennonite Road, just past Sunny Lake Park, up the hill and on your left.
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Safety reminder: School starts Aug. 17. Watch for wee ones who might still be in vacation mode and drive like your kids live on every street, especially in mid-afternoon.
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We welcome your Aurora news. Contact Christine Patronik-Holder at 440-554-4914 or email@example.com.