Every year thousands across the Lower Mainland flock to spots far away from the city lights to view the celestial event known as the Perseid meteor shower. This year the best time to view them will be this weekend shortly after midnight of August 12 and same time on August 13th. If you’re looking for good viewing spots or just want to know more about them keep reading.
Basically the further you get away from the city lights the better your chances are for seeing this spectacular celestial display. Naturally, this is the one time many Vancouverites may choose to head out to the Valley.
1. Aldergrove Lake Park
2. Dark Sky Park in Abbotsford aka MacDonald Park
3. Cypress Bowl Lookout
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4. Porteau Cove (about 45 minutes from downtown).
5. Crescent Beach, Surrey Surrey/White Rock
You may also refer to our previous post on best spots to watch a meteor shower in Vancouver.
What is the Perseid Meteor Shower
The Perseid meteor shower is one of nature’s best and amazing shows. It is an opportunity to see the night sky light up with streaks of light. This annual celestial event is typically the most visible meteor shower for Northern observers, and best of all, you can make plans to watch it.
When is the best time to view the Perseid Shower?
This year, a waning crescent moon should emit little obstruction when viewing the Perseid meteor shower. You may see meteors from anywhere between July 23 and August 22. Keep in mind though that the pre-dawn hours are usually the best time to see them. This year, the “peak” of the shower will occur in the early morning hours after midnight of August 12 until dawn, and at the same period on August 13. You may see up to 60 meteors or more per hour during the peak.
Where should I look to see them?
To see the Perseid meteor shower, it would be best to look in the Northeast direction of the night sky. You may notice the meteors tend to fly away from a common point, called the radiant. This particular radiant lies within the Perseus constellation, hence the name Perseid meteor shower. The ideal viewing sites are at dark areas away from the bright city lights.
Do I need any special instruments, like a telescope, to view the shower?
A telescope is not necessary but it is best to avoid the bright city lights, which can cause light pollution making it difficult to see the night sky. You would want to enjoy the show, so you might like to bring a comfortable chair, a blanket or jacket to keep you warm, some drinks and snacks, and perhaps some company to point out the meteors you might have otherwise missed.
Image by RyAwesome