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This Summer the Sky will be Lit with Shooting Stars

The sky early this morning, a meteor shower graced the dark sky as the Delta Aquariids Meteor shower peaked just before dawn. About 20 stars per hour appeared in the sky, moving at a pace of 41 kilometres per second, according to Forbes.

The shower occurs 45 degrees from the constellation of Aquarius. Astronomers believe that the Delta Aquariids shower is caused by the comet 96P/Machholz, which orbits the sun every five years.

The Delta Aquariids Meteor showers runs from July 12 until August 23. According to the American Metro Society, because the shower peaked this morning, there will be a high rate of meteors for the next week. AMS added that Delta Aquariids tend to be faint and lack both persistent trains and fireballs.

Delta Aquariids was discernible this morning because the moon sank in the West after midnight, so moonlight did not interfere with the visibility of the shower. This morning was not the last chance to watch shooting stars this summer.

The Perseids meteor shower will also peak this summer. According to Forbes, this shower is the most well-known and loved of them all. It will be fun from July 23 through August 20. The peak dates are Tuesday, August 11 and Wednesday, August 12. 

The best time to see the shooting stars from the Perseids shower is an hour or two before dawn on the peak dates for a few days before. Showers are not visible in as dark a night as possible without any white light in the line of sight. 

Optical aids like binoculars or telescope actually make it harder to view the meteor showers, and it is best to just rely on the eyes.

NASA recommends finding an area away from the city or street flights with a sleeping bag, and lie flat on your back and take in as much of the sky possible!