Delta Aquariid meteor shower: What you need to know
Skywatchers are set for a treat this week when the Delta Aquariid meteor shower reaches its peak.
The American Meteorological Society notes that the Delta Aquariids will peak late Monday and early Tuesday.
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Certain parts of the globe will get better views of the comet and asteroid fragments as they streak across the night sky, according to experts.
“The Delta Aquariids are best viewed in the Southern Hemisphere and southern latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere,” explains NASA on its website. “Find an area well away from city or street lights. Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.”
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“Looking halfway between the horizon and the zenith, and 45 degrees from the constellation of Aquarius will improve your chances of viewing the Delta Aquariids,” the space agency adds. “In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient — the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.”
EarthSky notes that the Delta Aquariid shower is active every year from about July 12 to Aug. 23. “The coming new moon on July 31/August 1 (depending on your time zone) means lovely waning crescents in the optimum predawn hours in late July,” it explains. “It means dark skies throughout most of the night all through the first week of August.”
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A small chunk of an asteroid or comet is also known as a meteoroid. When it enters Earth's atmosphere, it becomes a meteor or fireball or shooting star. The pieces of rock that hit the ground, valuable to collectors, are meteorites.
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