The Perseids meteor shower may have peaked, but there’s still prime viewing space for it in southern Alberta.
Waterton Lakes National Park has set up several viewings until the shower ends, but their hoping for more in pursuit of preserving their dark sky.
Parks Canada’s Christy Gustavison says they are hoping to become known for their dark sky as they apply for several designations across the world, including the International Dark Sky Association and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
“In order to apply for that designation, first off, you have to have dark skies, which we do by virtue of some of our back country and wilderness areas. We also need to demonstrate a commitment to sharing our amazing nights sky,” said Gustavison.
“There’s some recent research that says 80 per cent of North Americans don’t get to see the Milky Way on a regular basis because of all the artificial light in our towns and cities. To be able to experience those dark skies is always a privilege.”
Gustavison says they have a few viewing spots set up and you can see the Perseids meteor shower unaided.
“We also saw the space station go over the night sky as well, but we did have volunteers and staff with Parks Canada, Glacier National Park in the U.S., Lethbridge, and Calgary with some telescopes to take a closer look at things like the Andromeda galaxy and the rings on Saturn.”
The Perseids meteor show normally runs from around July 23 to August 20. (djs)