Look up! Dueling meteor showers to streak across the sky Monday night

Look up! Dueling meteor showers to streak across the sky Monday night

Not one, but two meteor showers will peak Monday, July 29: the Southern delta Aquariids and the alpha Capricornids.

The sky will be putting on a celestial show Monday night.

"Folks that miss out on the meteor showers on Monday night should still be able to spot some into the first nights of August as the showers both have a broad peak".

With both showers only a day or two past peak, and only a sliver of the moon showing, any clear night or early morning this week should put on a good show in the nightsky.

Meteors, colloquially known as "shooting stars", are the streaks of light that we see when small pieces of debris from comets or asteroids enter the Earth's atmosphere and burn up at high speed. The debris hits the Earth's upper atmosphere at about 90,000 miles per hour, usually burning up as visible meteors. The society said this particular shower is best seen from the southern tropics, but those living north of the equator may still catch glimpses.

According to AccuWeather, there should be 20 to 25 meteors visible per hour from dusk until dawn on Tuesday, with the best time for viewing right after midnight.

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About 5-10 percent of the Delta Aquariid meteors leave glowing trails of ionized gas trails that persist for a couple seconds in the meteor's wake.

Astronomers believe Delta Aquarid meteors may come from Comet 96P Machholz, which was discovered in its 5-year orbit around the Sun.

Neither meteor shower is considered to be strong, as meteors typically appear faint and there's not as many as some other meteor showers.

Meanwhile, the alpha Capricornids, which are active from July 3 to August 15, are less strong, rarely bringing more than five meteors per hour, but the AMS describes them as "bright fireballs".

Alpha Capricornids is a weak shower with bright fireballs in the sky.

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