Two Meteor Showers Will Peak This Week—Here's How to Spot a Shooting Star
Watch out for Delta Aquariids and Alpha Capricornids.
So far, this summer has been packed with exciting celestial events and rocket launches. Most recently, we saw Comet Neowise light up the night sky, and this week, we'll have two chances to spot shooting stars before the launch of the Mars Perseverance rover, slated for July 30. The Delta Aquariids meteor shower and the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower will both peak this week, giving stargazers the opportunity to see several meteors an hour. Here's everything you need to know to witness these incredible celestial sights.
What is the Delta Aquariids meteor shower?
The Delta Aquariids meteor shower is a yearly celestial event that typically occurs from mid-July to mid-August. Although astronomers aren't certain, they believe the meteor shower comes from Comet 96P/Machholz. The Delta Aquariids get their name from the constellation Aquarius because their radiant—the point from which the meteors appear to originate—is near the Delta Aquarii star.
When is the 2020 Delta Aquariids meteor shower?
The Delta Aquariids meteor shower occurs from July 12 to August 23, and it will peak this Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with approximately 20 meteors per hour. According to NASA, this meteor shower is best viewed from the Southern Hemisphere, but you may still be able to spot some shooting stars if you go somewhere with little light pollution.
What is the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower?
The Alpha Capricornids meteor shower typically occurs from mid-July to mid-August as a result of the dust from the comet 169P/NEAT.
When is the 2020 Alpha Capricornids meteor shower?
According to the American Meteor Society, the Alpha Capricornids are active from July 2 to August 10, and they'll peak from July 25 to 30, with about three visible meteors per hour. This shower can be seen from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, so get outside and look up. Even though this may not seem like very many meteors, this shower is known for sometimes having fireballs, so it's worth stargazing this week.
When is the next meteor shower in 2020?
The Perseid meteor shower, regarded as one of the best yearly showers, is just a couple of weeks away, peaking on August 12. Plus, the Mars Perseverance rover is set to launch this week, too—you can watch the launch online on the NASA website.