Here's some news from Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill:
Morehead will have its usual monthly skywatching session from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, at Jordan Lake State Park (weather pending, of course). Morehead and other skywatching experts will bring out their powerful telescopes for some night sky viewing. Best of all, they'll bring out lots of knowledge about what you're actually seeing in the sky. This month, you should be able to see the Perseid meteor shower, making it the most popular skywatching session of the year.
This is a fantastic opportunity for families. If you have younger kids who aren't fun to be around after 9 p.m., wait until the winter when they start earlier because the sun sets earlier.
Morehead also will have a couple of additional skywatching sessions this month. They are Aug. 24 at Historic Stagville, a state historic site in Durham,, and Aug. 25 at Horton Grove Nature Preserve in Durham.
For details on all of these skywatching sessions, click here.
Also of note: Morehead's summer schedule, offering public planetarium shows from Tuesday through Sunday, ends Aug. 19. After that, they'll close down for a few weeks, reopening Labor Day weekend.
These shows - particularly the new show "One World, One Sky," and the long-time favorite "Magic Tree House Space Mission" - are great for younger kids. I highly recommend "One World, One Sky," featuring Big Bird, Elmo and a new character from China for the three- to six-year-old crowd.
In the movie, Big Bird and Elmo and their new friend Hu Hu Zhu from China learn that, while they live far apart, they both see the same sky at night. My two-year-old loved it. My rising second grader also enjoyed it, though the "Magic Tree House" movie was more definitely more her speed.
Both movies will return when Morehead reopens on Labor Day weekend.