The next meteor shower to bathe Earth is the Delta Aquarids. This shower can be better seen in the Southern Hemisphere rather than the North, but we should see a good blast of 15-20 meteors per hour.
We have a waning crescent moon, which will throw a little light into the sky, but not enough to upset viewing as these meteors tend to be larger and slow moving than those we regularly see. If you’d like to try and spot some, then just after the moon has set in the early morning (pre dawn) sky is the best time to view them. Anyone out camping and up at the crack of dawn, keep your eyes peeled 🙂 Alternatively, the few hours after midnight are also good.
The meteors tend to radiate from the constellation Aquarius. We should start to see them from 20 July onward, with the estimated best viewing nights to be 27 – 30 July, although we will still be moving through the shower for weeks afterwards. Throughout late July and early August, if you think you see a shooting star, you more than likely have 🙂
The Delta Aquarid meteor shower overlaps with the more famous Perseid meteor shower in August (check back here for full details next month). The best time to see both of these showers at the same time is any time between midnight and dawn in the 2nd week of August.
We believe that the Delta Aquarid meteors come from the trail of the Comet 96P Machholz. That still hasn’t been confirmed however.
Its summer here in the UK, so grab a Pimms, head out into the garden and lie down to gaze at the sky. Same deal in the Southern Hemisphere….only with hot cocoa, many blankets and possibly a roaring fire 😉