Two meteor showers light up the sky this week

How to see these shooting stars

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.

Clearing skies will create great conditions to spot a few meteors tonight. The Delta Aquarids and the Alpha...

Posted by Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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.

Next Meteor Shower

The Perseid meteor shower dazzles the sky every year and may be considered the favorite among stargazers. These meteors radiate from the constellation Perseus the Hero, but you don’t need to know where this constellation is located because meteors can be spotted throughout the sky. This meteor shower intensifies late night through the predawn hours on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13.