The annual shower peaks around July 28 and will be part of a meteor mash-up in August.
Not all the summer fun happens during the day! The Delta Aquariids are once again gracing our night sky, giving us a reason for us to look up.
The Delta Aquariids will be visible from around July 12 to August 23 and will peak around July 28. Peak coincides with a slender, waning crescent moon, so the viewing conditions should be very good, weather permitting. While the Delta Aquariids are easier to see for those in the Southern Hemisphere, we'll still get a decent view. At peak, there will be about 10 to 20 meteors flying around per hour.
This tail end of this year's Delta Aquariid shower will also coincide the bigger and bolder Perseid shower, which will peak in August 11-13! It's a meteor mash-up that should fill the night skies with plenty of "shooting stars" to please everyone. The beloved Perseids will be fairly visible by August 1, putting on a show for the Northern Hemisphere. The moon conditions aren't the best for its peak, but you will still catch plenty of meteors.
So, as the two meteor showers converge, how do you know which one you are watching? It's all about where they start. According to earthsky.org, the Delta Aquariids' radiant point is near the star Skat, or Delta Aquarii. This area is also known as the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer, which is in the southern part of the sky. The Perseids, no surprise, radiate from Perseus, in the northeast to high in the north part of the sky.
"So if you are watching the Perseids, and you see meteors coming from the northeast or north … they are Perseids. If you see them coming from the south … they are Delta Aquariids. In a particularly rich year for meteors, if you have a dark sky, you might even see them cross paths! It can be an awesome display," says earthsky.org.
If meteor showers are your things, pick a dark spot in late July, give your eyes some time to adjust to the night sky, and enjoy the show!
"From any time zone, the best viewing window on July 28 or 29 lasts for several hours, centered on roughly 3 a.m. daylight-saving time). Find an open sky away from artificial lights, lie down on a reclining lawn chair and look upward," suggests earthsky.org.
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