Every August the Perseid Meteor Shower is visible here in Calgary, and it is an opportunity you do not want to miss. This year's is particularly important for all of you amateur astronomers out there, since NASA has advised the public that it will be their best chance to see a meteor shower this year.
Although the moon will be bright enough to hinder some visibility, you can expect to see, on average, 80 meteors an hour. Meteor sightings are best after 1 a.m, just before dawn. If you're planning to catch the show, make sure you are prepared with warm clothing, blankets, snacks and water.
The best place to witness any astronomical event is far away from any light pollution. Light pollution is at its most concentrated in big cities such as Calgary. If you want to experience the Perseid Meteor Shower in its full glory, we recommend heading west towards the mountains or east into the prairies. If you don't want to travel too far, here are the best viewing areas around Calgary:
Nose Hill: At its peak, Nose Hill is just high enough to escape some of the city light pollution. Anywhere on the northwest side of the hill will provide some visibility.
Bowness: On clear nights something magical happens in the community of Bowness: the stars are visible. Not all of them, but you can see most major constellations, including the Perseus constellation where the Perseid Meteor Shower comes from. It will be hard to catch small meteors, but you never know when a big one will light up the sky.
The University of Calgary's Rothney Astrophysical Observatory: It's a mouthful, but it is also the best place to go if you are interested in using incredibly high-powered telescopes and learning from actual scientists. They host monthly open houses for the public, but you can also call them to organize a private tour.
The Telus Spark Centre: Not really an outdoors-y person? Don't worry, you can watch a beautiful show on the wonders of space from the theatre in the Telus Spark Centre.
Don't forget to make a wish on a shooting star!
Your Real Estate Professional,