Skywatching: Double Meteor Shower To Grace The Skies This Week

Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower to Peak on Tuesday

The annual Delta Aquarids meteor shower takes place between July 12 and August 23 each year, and this year it will be reaching its peak on July 27. For starters, it's very rare to have two meteor showers peak at the same exact time.

The meteors of the Delta Aquarids are known for dragging long, glowering trails because of the angle at which they entire Earth's Atmosphere.

Delta Aquarids appear to originate from a point in front of the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer, close to the star Delta Aquarii, in the southern night sky. The alternate answer is that either way, a falling star is a handsome thing to behold, but if you really want to distinguish a Delta Aquarid from a Perseid meteor, the short answer is that the former appear to fly from the south and the Perseids from the north-northeast.

Meteors keep showering throughout the year, however, it sometimes becomes hard to catch a glimpse of it. The Eta Aquarids are named after another one of the brightest stars in the constellation. The radiant point of the shower almost aligns with the star Skat (Delta Aquarii). Discovered in 1986 by Donald Machholz, the comet Machholz has a nucleus about 6.4 kilometres wide.

NASA said, "When comets come around the sun, the dust they emit gradually spreads into a dusty trail around their orbits".

Also Read: Comet, Asteroid or Meteor? This space debris disintegrates and creates the continual cosmic fireworks show in the night sky.


"At the peak, under ideal conditions (a clear, dark night in the southern hemisphere) you might be able to see 25 meteors per hour, although fewer meteors will be visible for us in the northern hemisphere", NASA said. While the AMS notes that the shower isn't particularly strong (about five meteors an hour), the meteors it does produce are particularly bright and visible.

The best viewing hours for the meteor showers are after midnight and before sunrise, in locations that have clear views of the sky and are not polluted with artificial light.

The Alpha Capricornids is the weaker of the two meteor showers, but it could prove to be the one that is most intriguing.

Comet NEOWISE may be on its way out, but that doesn't mean that the night sky's light show is set to end.

The American Meteor Society also reports that the Alpha Capricornids will also peak early next week.

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