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The Most Magical Meteor Showers Arrival in July: How to Observe the Delta Aquarids from Mexico

(Photo: Quartoscuro)
(Photo: Quartoscuro)

In the early hours of Thursday, special rain will arrive for the stars of July: Southern Delta Aquarids.

Although the astronomical event can be seen until next August 23, the most magical night will be on Thursday, because it will reach the peak of its activity and will cross the sky. Up to 25 meteors per hour, as highlighted in a statement by INAOE, the Quintana Roo Planetarium Network, and the National Stars Committee Night.

Delta Aquarids occur because the Earth is currently crossing the Earth’s orbit. cometa 96P/Machholz. This leaves trails of dust suspended in space and crisscrossing our planet’s path. Upon impact on the atmosphere, the stars become dazzling.

El objeto 96P/Machholz It was discovered in 1986 by Donald Machols, an amateur astronomer who was viewing the sky with binoculars from the summit of Loma Prieta, located in central California. Subsequent research concluded that it is a comet with a short-period orbit, taking 5.29 years to orbit the sun.

(Photo: Quartoscuro)
(Photo: Quartoscuro)

It is 6.4 kilometers in diameter and has one of the smallest perihelion distances among comets of short-range numbering, that is, they are much closer to the Sun than other similar celestial bodies.

The last time 96P/Machholz reached perihelion, or closest point to Astro Rey, was on October 27, 2017, and it is expected to do so again on January 31, 2023.

This month, the fragments that emerged from this comet will cross the sky on the night of July 30, in an unmissable view that can be seen from Mexico.

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Step 1: Date and time

The best time to observe the Southern Delta Aquarid will be at 04:00 a.m. Thursday, July 30, according to the Quintana Roo Planetarium, the National Star Committee’s Night, and INAOE in a statement. Up to 25 meteors will fall per hour.

Second step: the place

To be able to catch the falling stars, experts recommend observing the phenomenon from a place with a dark sky away from the light pollution of large cities. It is also important that the weather is clear, which is a much more difficult requirement now, because we are in the rainy season.

(Photo: INAOE Planetarium/Quintana Roo/National Committee Starry Night)
(Photo: INAOE Planetarium/Quintana Roo/National Committee Starry Night)

Step 3: Where to look

It is not necessary to use professional monitoring tools to continue viewing. We only have to adjust our eyes to the darkness for 30 minutes and then turn our eyes to the brilliance of the Aquarids of the Southern Delta: the constellation of Aquarius.

It is known in astronomy to be radioactive to the point from which meteorites appear. If you do not know how to locate this constellation of stars, use applications such as SkySafari, for Android, or SkyView, for IOS, which will allow you to orient yourself in the sky thanks to virtual reality.

Although Delta Aquarids are the most active and special rain in July, they are not the only ones we will be able to see in the sky this week.

Other meteor showers

Weather permitting, in the last week of July we will be able to see another meteor shower: Alpha Capricorns. It will also have a maximum on July 30 at 04:00 AM. Its radiance is located in the constellation Capricorn towards the southeast region of the sky. They will leave about five meteors an hour.

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