One of the most pleasant sensations during summer nights is to lie down to contemplate the sky at night. An experience that can be greatly improved if we can observe the famous star showers. In addition, in summer we have two of these well-known phenomena: Delta Aquarids and the Perseids.
Although the latter are more spectacular, the former are also worth seeing, and they arrive earlier. They began to be seen in our sky on July 12 and will remain until August 23, although we can enjoy the meteor shower at its peak during the night from July 28 to 29, that is, in the early morning of Thursday 29, as calculated by the National Geographic Institute (IGN). They wait around 25 meteors per hour. However, conditions are not too favorable this year to appreciate it well, as it will occur very close to the full moon (July 24), which will make observation difficult.
Astronomical calendar July 🔭
🔵 8: Moon-Mercury conjunction
🌑 10: New Moon
🌒 12 and 13: Venus and Mars-Moon conjunction
🌓 17: First quarter moon
🌕 24: Plenilunio
🪐 24-26: Moon-Saturn and Jupiter conjunction
🌠 28: maximum aquarid delta rainfall
🌗 31: Last quarter moon pic.twitter.com/4mvc9jfwij
— IGN-CNIG (@IGNSpain) July 7, 2021
How to see
To try to witness the phenomenon as well as possible, it will be more appropriate to look at the sky after midnight, around 02:00 hours, when your radiant point is highest in the sky and the latter is as dark as possible. Also, taking advantage of the fact that in much of Spain there is no curfew, it is advisable to go to any place where we can observe the dark sky, such as a viewpoint, a mountain or a point far from the city. In any case, it is advisable to go between half and an hour before from starting to see the meteor shower so that the view can get used to the light conditions.
The Delta Aquarids are believed to come from cometa 96P Machholz, what orbits the Sun every 5 years and whose core it is about 6.4 kilometers in diameter. According to NASA, this star was discovered in 1986 and was named in honor of its discoverer, Donald Machholz. For its part, the radiant point of the meteor shower occurs in the estrella Skat, belonging to the constellation Aquarius, hence the name.