July 29, 2011

A Good Night for Meteor Watching


The Delta Aquarid meteors will peak on Saturday morning, July 30th. Activity should pick up after 10pm Friday night and be best between 3am local time and morning twilight Saturday morning. Get comfortable on a blanket or lawn recliner in the darkest spot you can find and watch the darkest part of the sky high in the southeast. Depending on haze and skyglow at your location expect to see up to 10-15 meteors per hour.

According to Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society:

The Delta Aquariids (SDA) will reach maximum activity on Saturday July 30th. Hourly rates will depend on your latitude. Those viewing from the southern tropics will see the highest rates of near 15 per hour. Rates seen from mid-northern latitudes will range from 5-10 per hour, depending on the haziness of your skies.  The radiant is currently located at 22:45 (341) -16. This position lies in southwestern Aquarius, two degrees west of the third magnitude star Delta Aquarii. The radiant rises near 2200 (10pm) LDT for observers located in the mid northern latitudes, but is best placed near 0300 LDT, when it lies highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 42 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of average velocities.

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