Considered one of the best showers of the year, the Perseid meteor shower is set to dazzle Metro Vancouver skies this week.
The shower will peak between Aug. 11 and Aug. 13 and offers stargazers the chance to view multiple meteors hourly. Second only to the Geminid meteor shower in December, the August astral display will offer over 50 shooting stars per hour.
According to Space.com, the Perseid shower produces about one meteor, "per minute, or 60 per hour, and AMS estimates that the rate can increase to as many as 75 per hour." In fact, they note that in 2016 stargazers were able to view between 150-200 meteors an hour.
With this in mind, the Perseids are strikingly bright meteors, and always deliver an awe-inspiring celestial spectacle.
Locals will also be able to catch some of the astral magic in the days leading up to the shower's peak, as well as in the days right after. However, you should aim to view them a couple of hours before dawn on Aug. 12 for optimal viewing magic.
Sadly, however, the moon's luminous glow may impede viewing. That said, you will still be able to see numerous meteors, but some of them may be obscured by the light. Still, the August shower presents one of the best showers of the year. Only the Geminid shower in December is more productive, offering a full night of celestial fireworks (but you'll have to watch it in the cold - brr!)
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.