Observing meteor showers can be tough at the best of times, requiring late nights, dark skies and lots of patience. The peak of the shower coincides with an almost full moon, meaning conditions are not ideal for the meteor shower, however, to patient observers, some bright meteors may still appear.
Take a virtual tour to see how the Southern delta-Aquarids Meteor Shower is generated with this terrific 3D interactive model.
When to look: The later the better. The best time to view will be after midnight in the early morning of the 29th.
Which direction to look: Meteors will appear to emanate from a point high in the north eastern sky.
Do I Need a Telescope to see a Meteor Shower?
You don’t need a telescope or binoculars to see a meteor shower. It’s a great time to gather with friends, roll out your favourite picnic rug, pack the drinks and snacks, and start counting how many “shooting stars” you all see!
It’s best to view a meteor shower under a dark night sky. Most meteors will be quite faint so darker surroundings will make it easier to see them. You might consider heading out to a dark sky location at one of WA’s Astrotourism Towns. If you’re an astrophotographer, it is an excellent opportunity to image meteors over some of WA’s iconic landscapes. Where are WA’s Astrotourism Towns? Fingers crossed for a spectacular show!
What is a meteor shower?
Meteors are caused by debris entering Earth’s atmosphere. The debris can be as small as a grain of sand which burns up in the atmosphere and causes a bright streak of light to appear briefly in our night sky. The debris that causes a meteor can be travelling between 11 to 73 km/second.
A meteor shower is a time when you see lots of “shooting stars”. They are the result of Earth passing through the trail of debris left by a comet or other object that has come into our Solar System and orbited around the Sun.
What’s the Moon phase, and how will it affect viewing?
This year the Moon will be close to full during the southern delta aquarids meteor shower. This means that all but the very brightest meteors will be blocked by the light of the Moon
Meteor showers are named after the constellation where the “shooting stars” appear to be coming from. In the case of the Southern delta-Aquarid Meteor Shower, the meteors appear to come from the direction of the constellation of Aquarius. If you have a handy smart phone app that helps you identify objects in the night sky, search for Aquarius, and you’ll be looking in the right location.
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Become a Citizen Scientist and report meteor sightings! If you happen to see a very bright meteor (often referred to as a “fireball”), WA’s Fireballs in the Sky team based at Curtin University would love to know! Download the Fireballs in the Sky App and keep your eyes peeled!