Meteor shower Southern Delta Aquarids, Alpha Capricornids and Piscis Austrinids light up Australian skies

While we might be tempted to go back and stay at home Thursday night, Australians are encouraged to step out into the backyard to see three rare meteor showers.

Three celestial phenomena, the Southern Delta Aquariids, Alpha Capricornids and Piscis Austrinids, will light up Australia’s skies over the next few nights, coinciding with the dark night sky of the new moon, which is expected to provide ideal viewing conditions.

Macquarie University professor Orsola De Marco says meteor showers are among the most enjoyable events for amateur astronomers because of their veracity; providing bright and beautiful displays even when conditions are not favorable.

Professor De Marco said that this phenomenon was created when the Earth crossed the comet’s orbit and collided with falling debris.

“Like my cat, comets drop pieces,” Professor De Marco told The Guardian Australia.

“It’s like when you drive your car through a cloud of insects – they all get on your windshield.”

The process, called the radiant, involves extremely hot meteor fragments falling into space before burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.

During their peaks, which last about 48 hours, the showers can produce about 35 meteors per hour.

While meteor showers are visible from everywhere on Earth, Australia is expected to be one of the best places to watch.

So when and where is the best time to look?

The Piscis Austrinids meteor shower is expected to peak first starting Thursday, July 28, with the Southern Delta Aquarids and Alpha Capricornids following on Saturday, July 30.

The most spectacular light show will take place on Saturday, when the southern Delta Aquarids grace our skies, with up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak, according to Professor De Marco.

Austrian fish:

Named after the constellation Piscis Austrinus or otherwise known as the “Southern Fish”, this meteor shower will hit around 8 pm on the east coast, traveling southeast all night.

“Look east, about 45 degrees up—about halfway between the horizon and overhead,” Professor DeMarco said.

Southern Delta Aquariids:

Starting around 11:00 pm Saturday, the southern Delta Aquarids – the fastest flow this week – will be visible from east to northeast and at an angle of 45 degrees above the horizon.

Alpha Capricornids:

This shower can produce very bright “fireball” meteors that appear to be slowly falling across the sky.

Professor De Marco said the Alpha Capricornida stream would be visible to the north-northeast, about 65 degrees above the horizon, around 11:00 pm on Saturday.

But these events will not be the last we see, and in just a few weeks, other celestial phenomena will appear.

The peak of the rainy season for Sydney residents will come around 3am on August 13th.

The meteor shower, known as the Perseid shower, will produce up to a hundred visible shooting stars per hour.

However, due to the fact that the Perseid stream will coincide with the full moon in 2022, the display will be less noticeable.

Originally published as How and where to see a meteor shower in Australia