Every year, beginning in late April and continuing through the end of May, dedicated stargazers are treated to sight unlike any other – the Eta Aquarids meteor shower.
The lightshow is made up of comet particles that separated from Halley’s Comet hundreds of years ago, moving at more than 60 kilometres per second and burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.
The display usually peaks on May 5th or 6th. This year, the peak is expected between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. on May 6th.
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Viewers in the Northern hemisphere can expect upwards of 30 meteors streaking across the sky every hour, while those in the Southern hemisphere can expect double that number.
“Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible,” NASA writes on its website. “After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors.”
Where to watch the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower
Getting away from the bright lights of the city is highly recommended for optimal stargazing so, with that in mind, here are some recommended locations around Vancouver to set your eyes on the skies.
1. Aldergrove Lake Park
2. Dark Sky Park in Abbotsford aka MacDonald Park
3. Cypress Bowl Lookout
4. Porteau Cove (about 45 minutes from downtown)
5. Crescent Beach, Surrey Surrey/White Rock
For those unwilling to spend the night outdoors, NASA is offering a live stream of the meteor shower that’s available from the convenience of your own home.
Live stream (via NASA)
Featured Image: Meteor shower via Shutterstock