August 12, 2017 5:21 pm

Perseid meteor shower coming to B.C. skies Saturday night — if weather cooperates

Sat, Aug 12: Scott McGillivray of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada talks about the Perseid Meteor shower and safe ways to view the solar eclipse happening this August 21.


Astronomy lovers in B.C. hoping to catch a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower on Saturday night could potentially be out of luck.

Cloud cover is expected to hit much of B.C.’s south coast on Saturday night, which could put a damper on one of the biggest astronomical events of the year.

The Perseid meteor shower generally starts in mid-July and peaks around Aug. 12, as a result of the Earth passing through a trail of debris associated with a comet known as Swift-Tuttle.

From 2016: Perseid meteor shower hits B.C.

“Every year on this day we go through that trail of dust, and it lights up our sky,” said Scott McGillivray of the Royal Astronomical Society.

READ MORE: Perseid meteor shower: Toronto astronomy professor explains what to expect

The meteor shower may not light up Metro Vancouver skies as in years past, as clouds are expected to arrive on B.C.’s south coast Saturday night followed by rainfall.

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Global BC meteorologist Yvonne Schalle said there is a chance for breaks in the clouds, which is good news for astronomy buffs who will be out in force Saturday night in hope of seeing the meteor shower.

McGillivray will be part of a group who will be watching at Aldergrove Lake Park in Langley on Saturday night.

The Okangan Observatory, located about 30 minutes outside Kelowna, will also be hosting an event.

READ MORE: Solar eclipse and meteor shower just two of many astronomical events to be seen in August

Schalle notes that northeastern parts of B.C. are expected to have clear skies, giving those in the area the best chance of spotting the meteor shower.

“If you do want to see it, try and find a dark sky,” McGillivray said. “The number one thing for astronomy — more important than your telescope — is a clear, dark sky.”

— With files from Kerri Breen

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