Thousands gather at Raleigh’s Dix Park to see the Perseid meteor shower

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The Big Field at Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park filled up Friday with thousands gazing into the evening sky.

They came to see the Perseid meteor shower — a prolific stream of cosmic debris that appears each year between July and August.

Raleigh Parks and Recreation, the Morehead Planetarium and the Raleigh Astronomy Club collaborated to host the Dix Park viewing party.

The turnout was extraordinary, according to Matt Lochansky, outreach coordinator with the RAC. About 4,000 registered for the event, he said, with thousands attending.

Liam Hinojos, 7, of Garner get a boost from his father Orvil as he views celestial objects through a scope provided by Frank Westmoreland during a viewing of the Perseid meteor shower at Dix Park in Raleigh, N.C. Friday evening, August 12, 2022.
Liam Hinojos, 7, of Garner get a boost from his father Orvil as he views celestial objects through a scope provided by Frank Westmoreland during a viewing of the Perseid meteor shower at Dix Park in Raleigh, N.C. Friday evening, August 12, 2022.

Club members brought telescopes so attendees could also see Saturn, Jupiter, the moon and other celestial bodies. The highlight for Lochansky, he said, was seeing everyone on their blankets, eager to see magnificent meteors streak across the sky.

The RAC hosts similar viewings on the first Friday of every month. For more information, visit raleighastro.org