Swiss towns to switch off their lights to help locals see meteor shower

Swiss towns to switch off their lights to help locals see meteor shower

On the night of August 12 to 13, 2023, towns and cities across the Romande are due to switch off their lights so that locals can catch a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower in Switzerland. Hundreds of towns and local councils across all French-speaking cantons will be participating in the event, which is designed to celebrate one of the highlights of the astronomical calendar.

Perseids meteor shower to peak over Switzerland on August 12

On the night of August 12, people across Switzerland and the rest of Europe will look to the skies to try and see the peak of the Perseid (or Perseids) meteor shower. Up to 100 meteorites are set to cross the night sky each hour, and with natural light pollution set to be kept to a minimum in 2023 - the peak comes three days before a new moon - only the weather could scupper people's uninterrupted view of one of the wonders of the cosmos.

To celebrate this stunning natural phenomenon, hundreds of localities in the Romande region have agreed to switch off their publicly controlled lights, to help residents see the peak of the meteor shower. The event is organised by the Perseids Project, an organisation whose future goal is to turn off all artificial light across Europe to celebrate the arrival of the Perseid shower.

Participating communities are set to shut their lights down for all or part of the night. Some towns will be partially switching off their lights, while many will try and eliminate as much natural light as possible in order to give people the best chance to see the shooting stars.

Montreux and Lausanne will switch off their lights for meteor shower

Several large Swiss cities have also chosen to get involved, with Lausanne promising to shut off all lights in two of its traffic-free districts - set to be the quay and park in Ouchy and the park around Lake Sauvabelin. Some other well-known cities set to join the blackout include Montreux, Morges, Neuchâtel, Nyon and a number of suburbs of Geneva like Vernier, Meyrin and Confignon.

The only issue surrounding the event remains, as usual with meteor showers, the weather. At the time of writing, the country is set to see scattered clouds on the evening of August 12, meaning some views may be temporarily obstructed.

Regardless, we hope you enjoy this stunning natural phenomenon. For more information about which towns will be switching off their lights, check out the Perseid Project’s website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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