Wednesday 26 July 2017

The Delta Aquarid Meteors.

The Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower peaks each year on 27-28 July, when the shower can produce 10-20 meteors per hour. Best viewing this year is predicted to be between midnight and 2.00 am (this will be in local time wherever they are viewed from, as the time reflects the orientation of the planet to the rest of the Solar System), when the radiant point of the shower (point from which the meteors appear to radiate), which is close to the star Delta Aquari (hence the name) will be highest in the sky. At this time this year the Moon will be in a waxing crescent phase, so that viewing will be little impeded by moonlight.

The Delta Aquarids are thought to be caused by the Earth passing through the trail of Comet 96P/Machholz, where it encounters thousands of tiny dust particles shed from the comet as its icy surface is melted (strictly sublimated) by the heat of the Sun. 96P/Machholz is a short period, Jupiter Family Comet, crossing our orbit every 5.24 years, but the trail of particles shed by it forms a constant flow,

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