Delta Aquariid meteor shower 2022: When will it peak and how to watch the ‘pioneer’ celestial event

It’s an interstellar treat! The Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower is expected to peak on the night of Thursday July 28 in the pre-dawn hours of Friday July 29. NASA said there will be about 20 meteors visible every hour with a meteor speed of 41 km (25 miles) per second. Their radiant appears from the constellation Aquarius, moving southeast. The third brightest star in this constellation is called Delta. The shower takes its name from this star and the constellation.

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Meteors come from the remnants of comet particles and broken pieces of asteroids. As comets orbit the Sun, the dust they emit gradually spreads in a dusty trail around their orbits. Every year, the Earth passes through these trails of debris, allowing the pieces to collide with our atmosphere where they disintegrate to create fiery, colorful trails across the sky. The Delta Aquariid isn’t the only downpour in the sky this month. The Perseid meteor shower, which NASA calls the “biggest meteor shower of the year,” began on July 17 but won’t reach its peak until August 13.

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A Perseid meteor (R) crosses the sky above the planet Mars above the area of ​​red sandstone known as Little Finland, about 110 miles northeast of Las Vegas (Photo by Ethan Miller/ Getty Images)

What are Southern Delta Aquarids?

According to NASA, the space junk that interacts with our atmosphere to form the Southern Delta Aquarids comes from Comet 96P/Machholz. This comet orbits the Sun about once every five years. Donald Machholz found Comet Machholz in 1986. Comet Machholz’s nucleus is about 6.4 kilometers wide (just over half the size of the object thought to have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs).

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When can you see the Southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower?

The southern delta aquariids are active from mid-July and are visible until late August. These faint meteors are difficult to see if the Moon is visible. If the Moon is not visible, the best time to see the Southern Delta Aquarids is during the peak of the rain which is around the end of July.

According to Earth Sky, July’s Delta Aquariids, like May’s Eta Aquariids, prefer the southern hemisphere. Skywatchers in the Far North tend to dismiss it. However, the shower can be spectacular from latitudes like those in the southern United States. Delta Aquariid meteors are less bright than Perseid meteors. Accordingly, a dark, moonless sky is required. About 5% to 10% of Delta Aquariid meteors leave lingering trains, which are bright ionized gas trails that remain for a second or two after the meteor passes. In 2022, the new moon will fall at 5:55 p.m. UTC on Thursday, July 28. And the full moon will fall at 1:36 UTC on August 12. You have to take advantage of the moonless mornings at the end of July and the beginning of August to observe the Delta Aquariids

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Where can you see the Southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower?

According to NASA, southern delta aquariids are best seen in the southern hemisphere and southern latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Skywatchers must locate a site away from the city or streetlights to see better. Observing the southern delta aquarids will be easier if one looks halfway between the horizon and the zenith, and 45 degrees from the constellation Aquarius.

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The Canadian Space Agency took to Instagram and updated Twitter users on where to watch the Delta treatment. “This year, the Southern Aquariid Delta meteor shower peaks on the night of July 28 until the pre-dawn hours of July 29. About 20 meteors will be visible per hour! Aim for the constellation Aquarius, heading toward the Southeast and if possible, stay away from the City of Lights. Enjoy the show!”

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