Meteor-gazing at the Museum of Anthropology

Here come the meteors!

On Aug. 12, the Perseid meteor shower will be at its peak. To coincide with the celestial event, the Museum of Anthropology (6393 NW Marine Dr.) is inviting more than 1000 people to watch the stars during its Blackout: Night Sky Festival.

A new festival of arts and astronomy, Blackout features indigenous storytelling, an immersive art installation and interpretive stargazing set to a soundtrack of live and electronic music.

The event is part of a larger initiative to transform the outdoor grounds of the museum, located on the grounds of the University of British Columbia, into an urban star park. If the bid gets support from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada—and you know what sticklers those astronomists can be!—the park will be the first of its kind in Metro Vancouver, and the MOA the first museum in Canada to receive that designation.

“As Vancouver continues to grow, our night sky continues to disappear,” April Liu, MOA’s Curator of Public Programs and Engagement, said in a press release. “The next generation may grow up without any view of the stars. Our goal is to protect the dark and wild spaces that surround the museum, and hopefully inspire other museums and heritage sites to do the same.”

With their location on the edge of the ocean, away from city lights, the grounds offer an ideal location for astronomy and stargazing.

Blackout: Night Sky Festival runs from 5 p.m. until midnight. Besides activities, displays and music, the event offers festival-goers the opportunity to view the heavens through high-powered telescopes while the Perseids will be at their peak. Over 200 meteors will be shooting across the sky.

Porteau Cove. Mia Kramer photo.

As well, MOA’s galleries will be open for visitors to explore until midnight. Food and drink will be available outdoors at a BBQ and bar. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door. Students of all ages and youth under 19 are free.

You can see the full schedule here.

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