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)

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

Trent (left) and Treyden (right) are two of the students in the Mountain Bike Academy getting underway in February, taught by Salmon Arm Secondary’s Chris Stromgren (middle). (School District 83 photo)
Salmon Arm Secondary Mountain Bike Academy ready to roll

Course will help develop students’ riding and leadership skills

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Vernon Winter Carnival Cop John Fawcett (left) and Carnival director Paul Cousins are at Vernon’s Real Canadian Superstore on Anderson Way until 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, selling raffle tickets for a 2019 Polaris Snowmobile plus $1,000 worth of gear from BDM Motorsports. Tickets are $20. Only 5,000 tickets are being sold. The draw will be made Wednesday, Feb. 17. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon Winter Carnival prize sled on display

Grand prize in Carnival raffle draw is 2019 Polaris snowmobile and $1,000 in gear; tickets $20

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Okanagan hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 in Lake Country just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Most Read