Were you disappointed you didn’t get to see the northern lights last week?
This week offers another great reason to look up at the night sky.
Between Thursday night and Friday morning (August 12 and 13), this year’s Perseid meteor shower will peak.
Every August, the Earth travels through debris associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, resulting in one of nature’s most spectacular light shows.
According to the NASA Web site, the peak is forecast to produce more than 80 meteors per hour.
The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus.
Sometimes referred to as shooting or falling stars, meteors are actually the streaks of light emitted by chunks of metallic or stony matter burning up in our planet’s atmosphere.
On Wednesday night (August 11), Metro Vancouver and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Vancouver centre will hold a meteor shower watch at the Aldergrove Bowl in Aldergrove Lake Regional Park.
The drop-in event costs $2 and is scheduled to last from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., though participants must show up before 11 p.m.
Last month, Raminder Singh Samra, resident astronomer at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver, told the Straight that the best way to see the Perseids is to get as far away from city lights as you can.
Telescopes and binoculars aren’t necessary, Samra said.
You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.