Spectacular Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week

Posted: Jul 25 2016, 12:07am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 26 2016, 6:09pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Spectacular Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Delta Aquarid meteor shower will reach its peak around July 28 or 29. The best time to view this meteor shower will be late night or early morning hours.

The 2016 Delta Aquarid meteor shower will be at its peak this week. The meteor shower will be visible around July 28 or 29 and is expected to put up a stunning display of shooting stars across the night sky.

This meteor shower is believed to come from a comet called 96P Machholz that passes extremely close to the Sun during its orbit – sometimes within just a few thousand kilometers of the Sun’s surface. 

Small comets usually completely evaporates if they come that close to Sun, but large comets like 96P Machholz survives this encounter. They partially melt and leave behind the fragments of dust and debris. When these fragments enter the Earth’s atmosphere at about 90,000 miles per hour, they burn up and create flashes of lights across the sky. These flashes of lights are actually meteor shower.

According to EarthSky. org, the best hours for viewing this meteor shower will be late night and pre dawn hours of Thursday and Friday night – around 2 a.m. across the globe. The shower is expected to be clearly visible against the backdrop of moonlight free dark sky.

Experts says the maximum a Delta Aquarid shower can produce is 10 to 20 meteors per hour, but only in places with little light pollution like country area. The best tip will be wrap yourself in a blanket and take your position slighly before the peak hours as it will take around half an hour to adapt to the dark. No binoculars or eye equipment is required to view meteor shower.

Since Delta Aquarid will continue until mid-August, stargazers will able to see plenty of Perseid meteor shower too. You will notice that Delta Aquarid meteors appear bit fainter in the presence of Perseid meteor shower.

Comet 96P Machholz, the parent body of Delta Aquarid meteor shower was discovered in 1986 by amateur astronomer Donald Machholz and is called 96P Machholz in his honor. The comet last came to perihelion - its closest point to the Sun – on July 14, 2012 and will next come to perihelion on October 27, 2017.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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