Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks tonight

Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks tonight
Weather Talk

POSTED: Friday, July 29, 2011 - 3:53pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 12:09am

The peak of the Delta Aquarid meteor shower will be visible to stargazers tonight.  It will be combined with the Alpha Capriconids meteor shower.  The combination of the two will produce anywhere from 15 to 30 "shooting stars" per hour under ideal viewing conditions. 

Here are a few tips for viewing the meteor shower:

- The dual meteor shower will be visible to everyone around the world.

- Concentrate your gaze overhead and toward the southern part of the sky from about 1am to 4am.

- Best to view in rural areas away from city lights.

- It is good to set a blanket down or to sit in a recliner since the meteors will be streaking across the top of the sky.

- It will take a moment for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, so be patient.

- The activity will increase as we get into the overnight hours, usually seeing the most meteors just before dawn.

Another bit of good news for tonight is that fact that we have a New Moon, so the obstructive light from the Moon will not be a problem.

In case you're wondering exactly what a meteor is, here is the explanation:

Meteors are caused by Earth's atmosphere slamming into clouds of sand and grain-size particles shed by orbiting comets. As particles enter the atmosphere at speeds in excess of 93,200 miles an hour, they burn up in a fleeting streak of light.

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