Shooting Stars in the Natural Environment

National Science Week Event, August 20, 2021, 8pm

Ever seen a shooting star while standing outside under a starry, starry night?

If you’re lucky enough to be looking in the right direction at the right time, you might see one or many shooting stars, even if your local environment has light pollution present. But what exactly are shooting stars? Are they random or is there a pattern? Why are some brighter and different colours from others? Where do they come from, and where do they go? Do they burn up and disappear into thin air like magic? Can I hear them? Could I find one in my backyard? Could I be hit by one? Would it be dangerous or too hot to touch? What would it smell like? What’s inside it? Did the dinosaurs know about shooting stars?

The Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society and Briars Historic Park will present a public talk all about meteors and meteorites, in which they will share insight into local meteorite falls, their history and local significance. Those attending will be able to hold (and have their photo taken with) what was once a shooting star older than the Earth itself, examine it up-close and personal, and learn how to search for your own in surprising ways.

Following the talk, everyone will move outdoors under the night sky for some stargazing and shooting star spotting.

Dress appropriately for being outdoors and on a grassy or uneven surface. You may bring a small torch if you wish. Mount Martha observatory is marked on Google Maps and on the Melways at map reference 151/E1. The venue is in regional Victoria and is entered on the east side of Nepean Highway. Drive carefully through the park, with the possibility of wildlife on the road after dark. You will travel about 2 km along a sealed road, over three cattle grids, past a visitors’ centre on your left and vineyard on your right, up the hill then continue straight ahead, past the Shire Nursery on your left, with the observatory 100 m further along on the left, next to the Eco House.

Tea and coffee provided.

All events conducted in a Covid Safe manner – full terms on booking.

book online