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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna career fair offers new opportunities

Don’t miss the upcoming Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair in Kelowna, March 12.

Central Okangan Search and Rescue help save three men in eight days

All three men were snowmobiling in the backcountry when they got lost

Kelowna has Canada’s highest ‘moving penalty’

Disparity between vacant/occupied units incentivizes renovictions & reduces mobility, researcher says

Two-vehicle collision causes rollover at Burtch Road and Highway 97

Harvey is down to single lane traffic headed downtown

Lake Country event gets people to celebrate failure

Event on Feb. 29 will give people opportunity to discuss failures, enjoy live music and create artwork

Kelowna Capital News donates archives to UBCO

Kelowna Capital News donated materials dating from 1980 to 2000

Trudeau promises update on blockades as Wet’suwet’en chiefs meet Mohawk supporters

B.C. hereditary chiefs are thanking the Mohawks for supporting them in opposition to Coastal GasLink

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

UPDATE: ‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Federal minister to speak in North Okanagan

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Most Read