Perseid Meteor Shower August 11th and 12th.

On the nights of August 11th and 12th observers with a clear night sky observed several  meteors.  This is one of the best meteor showers and usually produces dozens of meteors per hour. A dark sky was necessary to see this event.

The image below captured a meteor streaking through the night sky.  Photo taken with a Canon 20Da using a 28mm f4 lens with a 45 sec. exposure by Kent Blackwell, planetarium volunteer and telescope operator.

Why Meteors?

As the Earth moves around the Sun if often collides with small to large space rocks called meteoroids.  When a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere it begins to glow due to friction.  The object appears as a “falling Star” and is known as a meteor.  If it hits the Earth its name changes to a meteorite.  Several of the best meteor showers occur in August, October, November and December.  A good meteor shower could produce one or more meteors per minute on average. You will need a dark sky away for street lights for the best view.

Venus now visible in the evening sky

After sunset the planet Venus is visible just above the sunset.  The planet appears as a brilliant star like object. It will be getting brighter as it comes closer to the Earth by the end of the year.  


Some great photos of the moon taken with an Iphone.



We viewed the transit of Mercury at the planetarium on November 11th, 2020

see Mercury? The top of the photo is the curve of the Sun’s limb.  (small dot at top is Mercury)


November 11 , 2019 in front of the planetarium

The planet Mercury crossed the face of the Sun on November 11th, 2019.  Visitors viewed this special event at the planetarium.  The next time a transit of Mercury occurs will be 2032.  Local astronomy clubs participated by providing viewing through special solar filtered telescopes.  Mercury appeared as a small black dot on the Sun. This was an outdoor event and reservations were not necessary.  Many students and families participated in the event.

  Future astronomer?

Never Look At The Sun Without Proper Solar Filters!

Planet Mercury on Sun's surface Mercury appears as a small dot near the Sun’s edge


The planetarium building is located in the City of Chesapeake Municipal Center on Cedar Road.

Visit the planetarium for future events and shows. (currently closed due to pandemic)

Direction:  From interstate 64 take Battlefield Boulevard    exit south.  Cross the Intracostal Bridge and turn right onto Cedar Road. The Municipal Center is on the right.

Total Lunar Eclipse January 20/21, 2019

The photos below were taken at the Chesapeake Planetarium. A small telescope was used to capture the images.  Several hundred attended the Total Lunar Eclipse Watch in front of the planetarium building on January 20 / 21, 2019

Lunar eclipse sequence of six images into totality

Earth's moon looking orange during lunar eclipseLarger view of the Moon during a lunar eclipse

lunar surface with small meteor impact appearing as a dot.

Total Lunar Eclipse photos taken at the Chesapeake Planetarium January 20, 2019

Meteor impact on moon during totality appeared as a small flash in one image.

On the night of January 20 /21 the moon passed though the Earth’s Shadow.

Several hundred stargazers arrived at the planetarium Sunday, January 20 to view one of nature’s most spectacular celestial events, a total lunar eclipse.  The photo above was taken using a small telescope that was able to image the entire lunar surface.

visitors to the planetarium viewing the lunar eclipse with the planetarium's telescope

The next Total Lunar Eclipse visible in Tidewater will occur on March 25, 2024.

For current planetarium program information call the planetarium star line  757-547 STAR (757-547-7827)