National Seashore to Host Free Perseid "Star Party"

August 12th at Marconi Beach
Perseid Star Party at Cape Cod National Seashore (NASA photo via NPS)

Join rangers for August’s celestial spectacle—the Perseid meteor shower. On Sunday, August 12 from 9 to 10:30 pm at Marconi Beach in Wellfleet, national seashore rangers will host a Perseid Star Party to observe the night sky.

Earth will pass through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle from July 17 to August 24. It will move through the comet’s densest, dustiest path on August 12, maximizing the number of meteors that may be viewed if skies are clear. During meteor showers, pieces of comet debris heat up as they enter the atmosphere, burning up in bursts of light and causing a streak across the night sky.

The sparse development and limited light pollution in the national seashore area of Wellfleet make it one of the best locations on Cape Cod to view dark night skies.

The free “star party” will include viewing from the Marconi Beach parking lot, with discussion of the science behind the celestial wonder, and stories about the role of astronomy in human history. Bring a chair if you wish to observe the night sky from the parking lot, or join a ranger for a short astronomy walk on the beach. Dress for the weather, and bring a flashlight for returning to vehicles. The parking lot is wheelchair-accessible; access to the beach is via steep stairs. In the event of rain, the program will be cancelled. For weather questions on the day of the event, call Salt Pond Visitor Center at (508) 255-3421.

IF YOU GO: Marconi Beach is located on Marconi Beach Road, off Route 6 in South Wellfleet. Look for the ranger at the beach parking lot. For more information about the seashore’s programs, pick up a copy of the Trip Planner and Activity Guide, available at Salt Pond or Province Lands visitor centers, visit welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on