Double meteor showers to light up the night sky this week in the wake of comet NEOWISE
LOS ANGELES - Comet NEOWISE may be on its way out, but there should soon be more dazzling displays to see in the skies: A pair of meteor showers is set to peak on the same night.
According to the American Meteor Society (AMS), the Southern delta Aquariids and the alpha Capricornids should both be visible in the coming days.
The delta Aquariids are typically active between July 12 and Aug. 23. This year, the meteor shower will peak on the night of Tuesday, July 28, according to AMS. At their viewing peak, the meteors appear to originate from the constellation Aquarius with a speed of 25 miles per second.
Viewers will be able to see up to 20 meteors per hour, according to NASA.
Most Americans may not be able to see many fireballs — the meteor shower is best viewed in the Southern Hemisphere and southern latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere — but some may still be visible to those in areas with less light pollution and clear views of the sky.
The AMS said that the alpha Capricornids will also be visible Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The meteor shower is active from July 3 to Aug. 15, and will show its maximum amount of meteors on July 30.
The alpha Capricornids is not very strong and rarely produces more than five meteors per hour, according to the AMS. Despite its infrequency and lack of strength, the AMS said what is most notable about the meteor shower is “the number of bright fireballs produced during its activity period.”
The alpha Capricornids will be equally visible on either side of the equator.
For optimal viewing, NASA recommends moving far away from any sources of light and finding a place with a clear view of the sky. Lie down flat on your back and look up, allowing time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.
“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,” said NASA. “In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors.”