Hundreds of dazzling shooting stars to illuminate Metro Vancouver skies this May

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Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the Eta Aquarid meteor shower in all its celestial glory.

Metro Vancouver stargazers will have the opportunity to feast their eyes on one of the year’s most dazzling meteor showers this May.

Eta Aquarid meteor shower / Leonid Meteor Shower
Silhouette of young couple watching Meteor Shower / Shutterstock

While the shower takes place from late April until mid-May, it has its peak around May 5. As a result, this will be the best time to view the astral occurrence. According to Sky and Telescope, “the Eta Aquarids can deliver a meteor per minute at its peak.” Luckily, the peak takes place around a new moon, which will allow for optimal viewing since the sky will be at its darkest.

Space.com also notes that while the Eta Aquarids don’t produce as many meteors per hour as the August’s famous Perseid meteor shower, “they are extremely bright, if not brighter.”

EarthSky advises that the best time to view the heavenly affair, “is in the early morning hours, before the onset of morning twilight.” Furthermore, they add that stargazers should allow themselves at least an hour of viewing time, as, “Meteors tend to come in spurts that are interspersed by lulls. Also, it can take as long as 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the dark.”

Stargazers should opt to travel as far away from city lights as possible in order to avoid light pollution that will obscure the clarity of heavenly bodies. While this works best in more remote places, anywhere that has a higher elevation will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.