Astronomy: Delta Aquariids meteor shower will peak on Wednesday

Astronomy: Delta Aquariids meteor shower will peak on Wednesday
Astronomy: Delta Aquariids meteor shower will peak on Wednesday

The Delta Aquariids meteor shower will peak on Wednesday night, providing the UK with a light show of up to 20 'shooting stars' every hour.

The recurring shower — which takes its name in part from how it appears to come from the constellation of Aquarius — can be seen from July 12–August 23 each year.

The peak of the event typically occurs in the days around July 28 each year. In the northern hemisphere, the Delta Aquariids are easier to observe at lower latitudes.

From the UK, the light show is usually be visible from dusk to dawn without the need for a telescope, with the greatest views to be seen after 2am.

The best viewing locations are those away from bright light sources.

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However, the appearance of the Delta Aquariids this year may be impeded by a waxing gibbous moon in the night sky, which may render them too faint to see.

The Delta Aquariids meteor shower will peak on Wednesday night ¿ providing the UK with a light show of up to 20 'shooting stars' every hour. Pictured: a meteor from the Delta Aquariids shower streaks across the night sky above the Canary Island back in 2014

The Delta Aquariids meteor shower will peak on Wednesday night — providing the UK with a light show of up to 20 'shooting stars' every hour. Pictured: a meteor from the Delta Aquariids shower streaks across the night sky above the Canary Island back in 2014

The recurring shower ¿ which takes its name in part from how it appears to come from the constellation of Aquarius (depicted above)  ¿ can be seen from July 12¿August 23 each year

The recurring shower — which takes its name in part from how it appears to come from the constellation of Aquarius (depicted above)  — can be seen from July 12–August 23 each year

HOW TO SPOT THE DELTA AQUARIIDS 

According to NASA, the best way to spot them is to lie on your back and look halfway between the horizon and directly above, and 45 degrees from Aquarius.

It advised: ' Find an area well away from city or street lights. Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. 

'Looking halfway between the horizon and the zenith, and 45 degrees from the constellation of Aquarius will improve your chances of viewing the Delta Aquariids. 

'In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.'  

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Meteors are fragments of comets, asteroids or other space rocks that produce a streak of light as they burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Experts believe that the material that produces the Delta Aquariids most likely comes from a debris trail left in the wake of the disintegrating Comet 96P Machholz, which orbits once around the sun every five years.

This body was first spotted by the American amateur astronomer Donald Machholz from the peak of Loma Prieta, California, in the May of 1986.

Comet 96P Machholz is believed to have a nuclear that is around

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