There are a lot of good shows happening in Metro Vancouver this summer, but one of the best will be taking place Monday and Tuesday nights this week in the sky.
The annual Perseid meteor shower — an event that could bring as many as 100 fire balls every hour — will reach its peak overnight on Tuesday.
This could be one of the best shows in years given that the shower will coincide with a new moon for the first time since 2007. That will help lower the lights even more and make the meteors that more visible.
Along with a moonless night, the weather will also be cooperate as clear skies and warm temperatures are in the forecast.
Tips for primetime viewing
Have we convinced you to spend some night time outdoors? Here are some tips for prime viewing:
Get as far away from city lights as possible. Squamish, B.C., Boundary Bay Regional Park and Abbotsford’s Mcdonald Park are all well known as sky-gazing vantage points. But even if you just take half an hour in your own metro neighborhood, you have a shot.
Grab a chair and that’s all. The Perseids are best seen with the naked eye so be prepared to let your eyes adjust for at least 20 min. And that means no cellphone light! Let your eyes relax and look towards the darkest patch in the sky. You should see at least one every few minutes.
The best viewing will likely occur after midnight and into the early morning hours.
Even though the peak occurs overnight Aug. 11 to Aug. 13, the meteors will be showering until Aug. 24. This is the time frame that Earth is passing through the debris trail left by comet Swift-Tuttle.
As our planet moves through it’s dust shower, comet particles will collide with our atmosphere, burn up and create flashes of light that will be visible right across the skies of Northern Hemisphere.