After over a week-long lead-up, tonight, July 29/30, is finally the peak of the mysterious Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower, which means that tonight, more so than any before or after, should offer the most meteors streaking through the sky.
Every year from late mid July into early August, Earth passes through the stretch of space junk shed by an object of unknown origin, reaching the deepest concentration of debris tonight. According to some estimates, under ideal conditions (dark country skies), one can expect to see something in the number of 10-15 meteors per hour. The reason the meteors are called Delta Aquarids is because the meteors seem to radiate from the constellation Aquarius, namely its ‘Delta’ star. The best time to view the shower is in the predawn hours of the morning as Aquarius is at its highest,
To improve odds of seeing meteors, travel out of the light polluted city and to the suburbs or, even better, the country if you can. In the suburbs, just going from the front to back yard can make a dramatic difference as this will eliminate glare from those pesky street/house lights to a large extent.
Two things can ruin the meteor shower: clouds and the Moon. The clouds? Well, that’s a regional thing. Check your local weather forecast to see what the clouds have in store for your location tonight.As for the Moon, that’s an Earth-wide issue. The good news here is that, this year, the Moon is near New during the peak, which means that it will be a non-issue this trip around the Sun.
Good luck and clear skies!
For more info:
All about the shower
Photograph the meteors
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