Get ready for the 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower in Vancouver

meteor shower vancouver

Time to brush up on your photography skills…

If you haven’t had the chance to see a shooting star before, you’re in luck. Twice as many meteors as usual are expected to streak across the skies during this year’s Perseid meteor shower, which will peak August 11-12 in a particularly remarkable star show.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs when the Earth travels through the debris of the comet Swift-Tuttle. This year, Earth will be closer than usual to the comet trails, making for what scientists call an “outburst.” Or, as non-scientists call it, a really cool light show!

Those in the Metro Vancouver area are in luck this year, because the forecast is calling for clear skies, making it an excellent opportunity for stargazing.

Vancouver meteor shower 2016

Image courtesy of Jeffsmallwood |

If you are able to stay up late Thursday night or at the tail-end of the storm this weekend, remember to look up! Here are a few tips for taking in the Perseid meteor shower near Vancouver:

How to watch

Escape from the city lights. If you can, try and get up a mountain or into a big park. Being away from the bright lights of the city can reveal a lot more stars in the sky. Trekking up to Mount Seymour may be a good option. Or, Porteau Cove, just a short drive from Vancouver, is another tried and trusted area for stargazing. Otherwise, find yourself a nice big park and settle in for a night under the stars.

Stay up late or get up really early. Stop in at one of our 24-hour coffee shops to grab yourself a huge mug of coffee, because you might need it! The meteor shower is usually best viewed between midnight and 4am. The later, the better.

perseid meteor shower vancouver 2016

Image by Bun Lee | Inside Vancouver Flickr pool

Where to watch

Anywhere you can get to with little to no light pollution and a good view of the sky will be the best option for getting a chance to see the Perseids. Cypress, Squamish, or anywhere along the Indian Arm are the best spots for meteor-watching.

If you want to stay closer to town, Wreck Beach, SFU, Burnaby Lake, or Coquitlam are also options.

Alternatively, you can join thousands of others stargazers who will be ascending to Mount Seymour on Friday, August 12 for a concert with their mountain-top meteor shower.

Also remember, the Perseid shower rises gradually to a peak, then falls off rapidly afterwards. So forget about the outburst (too-high expectations can ruin a meteor shower), and just enjoy a regular, wonderful shooting star display!

Don’t forget to make a wish!

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