Dayton, Ohio — Heads up skywatchers, the Delta Aquariids are very active right now. This meteor shower can be spotted from early July to through the end of August, with its peak projected for the night of July 29-30th.
Typically, this shower can produce up to 25 meteors per hour, but sadly the light pollution from the waxing gibbous moon will dim out many of them. It may be best to view these meteors once the moon has set; after midnight and before dawn.
To spot these meteors, find a dark wide-open space away from city lights and buildings. Look toward the southern sky as these shooting stars will radiate from the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer.
About the Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower
The Delta Aquariids are thought to originate from Comet 96P Machholz. Discovered in 1986 by Donald Machholz, this comet goes out beyond the orbit of Jupiter. At its closest point to the sun in orbit, it passes inside Mercury’s orbit. As the comet nears the sun it heats up and pieces of the comet break off. As the earth crosses through the path of the comet’s orbital path pieces of the comet crash into the Earth’s atmosphere burning up on entry– appearing as meteors or shooting stars.
Meteor Showers Collide
The Alpha Capricornids are also active right now. Beginning in early July through mid-August, these meteors reach a maximum on July 30th.
According to the American Meteor Society this meteor shower is “not very strong and rarely produces in excess of five shower members per hour, what is notable about this shower is the number of bright fireballs produced during its activity period.”
Basically, while you may not see as many Alpha Capricornids meteors, there is a greater chance to see fireballs.
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