The Delta Aquariid meteor shower is underway, and it's not a bad way to whet your appetite for August's total solar eclipse. The shower is a long-ranging and usually lasts from early-to-mid July through mid-to-late August.
This year, the shower is expected to last from July 12 to August 23, and it will peak July 27 and 28. The shower can produce 10-20 meteors per hour at its peak. With a full moon on August 7, that leaves waxing crescent moons around the peak dates. If that means nothing to you, fear not, it's simply good news for your ability to see as many meteors as possible. Earth Sky suggests the best time to watch will be between midnight at dawn, with 2 am local time being best around the world.
Additionally, the Aquariids overlap with the Perseid meteor shower, meaning there will be a few Perseids in the sky on peak nights. However, the Perseids, which peak on August 12 and 13 and are generally much more spectacular, will be a little tough to see this year, according to Earth Sky, unlike last year's beautiful display.
It's possible to view the shower in the Northern Hemisphere, but the shower is said to be at its most spectacular in the Southern Hemisphere, where the peak times produce closer to 15-20 meteors per hour. Nonetheless, Earth Sky says they're certainly visible in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly at "mid-northern latitudes."
To get the best view of any meteor shower, you want to get out of areas with lots of light pollution. That is especially important with the Aquariid meteor shower, which isn't as bright as the Perseids. Once you're there, just lay down and look up. You don't need to be facing any particular direction to get a good view.
If you refuse to go outside in the middle of the night, Slooh is broadcasting the peak live on Friday, July 28 at 8 pm ET. The broadcast will include commentary about the phenomenon and tips on photographing meteor showers.
But it's always worth going out to see an astronomical even for yourself. Plus, unlike the eclipse, you aren't paying exorbitant rates to find a place to rest your weary head.
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