The Perseids meteor shower peaks on Monday night August 11/Tueday morning August 12 this year. On a good year upwards of 100 meteors per hour can be seen. 2014, however, is not a good year since this date coincides with a nearly full moon that will be in the sky all night, making dimmer members of the shower difficult to see. Because of this, Mitzpe Ramon decided not to hold the town's usual Perseids Star Party which usually attracts over 9,000 people.
After much back-and-forth deliberation and some phone calls from people who asked me to have a star party, I have decided to continue my tradition of hosting my own star party in Mitzpe Ramon on Monday night August 11 starting at 9:00PM. Only the brighter members of the meteor shower that outshine the moon will be visible, but it should still be a memorable event.
I will have telescopes, giant binoculars and chairs set up at a location where you can camp for the night. I will start my star tour presentation at 9:30PM and continue remarks throughout the night. Bring binoculars, camp mats, and sleeping bags to stay comfortable at night, especially if you want to stay the night. This location has no water or bathroom facilities (other than the great outdoors), so plan accordingly. And remember that the desert is always cold at night, even on the summer.
I will be located at an easy to find camp ground above and behind Mitzpe Ramon.
Enter Mitzpe Ramon at the main entrance at the traffic circle/round about on Route 40. You are on Ben Gurion Boulevard. Continue through town on that street and on behind town on a narrow road into the dark. You will pass Silent Arrow on your right, then the turn off to the Alpaca Farm and the Field School. Continue going straight for about 1 km. You will see a forest on your left. Just past a yellow sign on the right that asks you to dim your lights for the Observatory, you turn left onto a short dirt road and go around the forest. I will be set up on the plateau about 100 yards down. If you come to the end of the road at the Observatory, you went too far. Turn around (carefully) and go back about 1/4 of a mile.
What: Perseids Star Party 2014 in Mitzpe Ramon
When: August 11, 2014, Monday night
Where: Mitzpe Ramon (See map above)
Cost: 50nis/person; no charge under 8 years old
Contact: machefsky at gmail dot com