Twin Meteor Showers Are Happening Tonight

published Jul 28, 2021
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If you’re located in the Southern Hemisphere or in the southern U.S., look up to the sky tonight, July 28, to see a pair of meteor showers cross paths. The Southern delta Aquariids and the alpha Capricornids will peak around the same time this evening and trickle into early Thursday morning.

The delta Aquariids, which radiate from the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer, have been in motion since July 12 and will continue to travel throughout August 23. And similarly, the alpha Capricornids have been on the move since July 3 from the radiant point in Sagittarius and will continue through August 15.

However, your best chance to see both delta Aquariids and alpha Capricornids is tonight, as both showers peak in brightness and meteor count around midnight local time.

Now, there are several factors at play that may hinder your chances of seeing meteors. Firstly, the alpha Capricornids is not a particularly strong shower, according to the American Meteor Society. It never produces more than five meteors per hour. The delta Aquariids is strong, but the meteors it produces are usually faint and lack both trains and fireballs.

Then, there’s the moon to contend with. It’s about 75% full right now, according to AccuWeather, which means it could wash out some of the meteors. Head to a dark location to ensure light pollution from cities and towns isn’t further lessening your chances of seeing meteors.

And finally, cloud cover and wildfire smog may also come into play for those in the Southwest of the U.S. But, keep your head up — literally — and you might just see a sprinkling of Aquariids and Capricornids.If you miss out on these twin meteor showers this month, don’t worry. The Perseids are heading into town in early August, and EarthSky says 2021 is a great year to see the Perseids, which is already considered one of the best showers of the year.