By far one of the best meteor shows of the year, the Perseid Meteor Shower is offering up quite a show over the next few days and one of the best places to see it will be Point Pelee National Park.
Point Pelee National Park is a designated Dark Sky Preserve. What does that mean? Dark Preserves are areas that restrict artificial light pollution and is generally done for the purpose of astronomy. This makes it one of the best places to explore the night sky in Canada. Think of it as an astronomy park where the night sky glows with millions of stars visible to the naked eye.
From August 11 to August 12, 2020 Point Pelee National Park will be open 24 hours for people to come out and enjoy optimal viewing of the Perseid meteor shower. Bring a chair and a blanket and head to one of the park’s beaches to enjoy the show.
The Perseids appear to fall from the constellation Perseus, from which the meteor shower gets its name. But the origin of the Perseids is a collision between the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle and pieces of space debris that create this light show.
If the conditions are right, you can expect to see up to 100 meteors an hour.
TIPS FOR VIEWING
Usually the peak visibility is between 12:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., however with the moon rise time this year, before midnight might be a little better. The Perseid meteor shower is at its peak between tonight and Thursday. If the sky clears up, before moonrise, there’s great opportunities to get out of the city and watch a show in the heavens.
- Aug 11 – 12:13 a.m.
- Aug 12 – 12:41 a.m.
- Aug 13 – 1:12 a.m.
City lights will hinder optimal viewing. Taking a little drive outside the city is probably your best bet.
No need for a telescope. If the weather cooperates and the skies are clear, you’ll be able to see the meteors with the naked eye.
Have patience. Some years have been better than others. Pack a warm beverage, a few snacks and give yourself about an hour’s worth of time to enjoy the night sky and catch a shooting star or two.
Bring a blanket or a reclining chair. You’ll be looking skyward so you’ll want to be comfortable.
ADDITIONAL VIEWING SPOTS
If you’re not able to make it out to Point Pelee National Park, don’t fret. You may still be able to catch a glimpse of a shooting star even if you’re in the city.
If you’re watching from the beach there’s almost nothing but the darkness of Lake St. Clair in front of you. This should help you spot some of the shooting stars.
Malden Park Hill
On the west side of the city, climb up the tallest peak (we’re pretty flat here) on the hill at Malden Park to get above the trees.
East Riverside Park
Another hill to climb, take the Blue Heron trail up the hill and watch the meteor shower over the lake.
Colchester Beach & Harbour
Another beach set a blanket down and watch the stars over Lake Erie.