Two meteor showers to stage cosmic display in the skies over Germany in coming weeks
The skies over Germany will stage not one, but two meteor showers over the coming weeks, treating stargazers to a real celestial spectacle. The Delta Aquariids meteor shower is set to peak at the end of July, with the Perseids meteor shower peaking shortly after in August.
Two meteor showers to pass over Germany
Over the next few weeks, two meteor showers will grace the night skies over Germany: the Delta Aquariids and the Perseids. Stargazers will have been looking forward to this time in the year for a while, as the second of the two meteor showers also includes Shooting Star Night, the night the most shooting stars can be seen all year.
The Delta Aquariids
The Delta Aquariids meteor shower is visible from mid-July to mid-August. The Delta Aquariids get their name as they appear to radiate from the Aquarius constellation, with their origin appearing to be close to the constellation’s brightest star, Delta Aquarii.
The best time to catch the meteor shower is when it peaks in the early morning of Friday, July 29, although it has been active since July 12. Stargazers will be able to spot around 18 meteors an hour at the shower’s peak. The Delta Aquariids continue until mid-August, meaning that they also coincide with the peak of another meteor shower, the Alpha Capricornids, on July 30. This also means that the Delta Aquariids will be visible all through the weekend, in case you can’t stay up late on Thursday night.
The Perseids is another meteor shower that is visible from mid-July, although it continues on until late August. Similar to the Delta Aquariids, the Perseids get their name from the Perseus constellation as they appear to hail from the constellation. They are associated with the Swift-Tuttle comet.
The Perseids peak on the night of August 12, which is also the so-called Shooting Star Night, the night when the most shooting stars are visible. This year, around 100 shooting stars will be visible every hour under the right conditions. Shooting Star Night also coincides with the full moon this year, which might reduce the number of shooting stars visible, but stargazers are still in for a heavenly treat regardless.
Don’t miss the interplanetary fireworks
With the Delta Aquarids, the Alpha Capricornids, and the full moon providing the backdrop for the Perseids meteor shower this year, stargazers are truly in for a spectacle that is not to be missed. And the great thing is, with a keen eye and ideal conditions, you can start looking out for meteors now, and continue stargazing through until late August when the Perseids finally depart. Make sure to peek out your windows at night on August 12, when all the events culminate in a celestial crescendo: Shooting Star Night.
If you are heading out, make sure you wrap up warm to escape the often unforgiving German weather. Thankfully, for the Delta Aquariid peak this weekend, conditions are looking fairly warm but overcast. If you don’t want to miss the show, head out away from the city and its bright lights and look for clear skies.