Nestled in a deep bowl, the dark area around the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory is a great spot for observing the Perseid meteor shower at their annual event on Aug. 12. (Steve Kidd - Black Press Media)

Perseid meteors return for August show

Observatory hosting annual meteor watching event

The night skies are a little brighter these days as the Earth once again travels through the Perseid meteor shower.

The annual meteor shower is one of Mother Nature’s best light shows, if she co-operates with clear skies, that is. Even if you’re not an astronomer or astronomy buff, the annual return of the Perseids can be a spectacular sight. This year, it takes place from July 17 through to Aug. 24, peaking on about Aug. 12.

As they have in past years, that’s the date the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory has chosen to enhance the experience with talks and by sharing the view from their home in a dark valley south of Penticton.

The gates to the observatory opening at 7:15 p.m. on Aug. 12, with talks at 8 and 8:45 p.m., featuring Ken Tapping, Tom Landecker, Tony Willis and Alex Hill. By 9:30 p.m., dusk should allow viewing of the brightest meteors.

During the period of the shower, Tapping said, that in the South Okanagan, you can ‘listen’ to the meteors by tuning your radio to 102.3 on the FM band. That’s actually the frequency for a radio station in Modesto, Calif., but as meteors enter the atmosphere they trigger a ‘skip’ effect and a short burst of the radio broadcast from 900 miles away. In Kelowna, it may not work, due to a low-power local station on that frequency.

There will also be planet viewings between 8 and 10:30 p.m. with Mark Garstin. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-Okanagan Centre is also going to be on hand, setting up telescopes for the public to enjoy other celestial wonders.

The Penticton Air Cadets are hosting a cash-only concession in the lunchroom and the event concludes by 11 p.m., with gates closing at 11:30 p.m.

DRAO is located at the 717 White Lake Rd., just south of the junction of Highway 3 and Highway 97. Organizers recommend dressing warmly and bringing a blanket or lounge chair to watch for meteors in comfort. Admission is free.

Should inclement weather (i.e. clouds) alter the quality of the meteor and telescope viewing, the grounds will still be open and talks presented.

For directions to the Observatory at White Lake visit nrc.canada.ca/node/932 or call 250-497-2300.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Hot start not enough for West Kelowna in 2-1 pre-season loss

The Warriors dropped game two of the pre-season to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks

‘Significant number’ of Kelowna rentals over 40 years old: report

From 2011 to 2016, 73 per cent of new households in Kelowna were rentals, according to the city

Fire in Kelowna apartment started in garbage can

The apartment was evacuated for a 4th-floor fire

Crane removal from downtown Kelowna to close streets

What goes up must come down and Ellis Street will be affected

Suspect restrained by bystanders after unprovoked assaults in West Kelowna

A 33-year-old Ontario man faces a number of potential charges

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines B.C. father accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Vintage Penticton tape deck is a reel mystery

Penticton man looking for whoever is speaking on a vintage reel-to-reel tape

Most Read