FP TrendingJul 28, 2020 16:18:52 IST
One of the longest-running meteor showers with some of the slowest-moving 'shooting stars', the Delta Aquariid meteor shower started from 12 July and will continue till 23 August. The meteor shower will peak in the early hours of Wednesday, 29 July.
According to a report in Forbes, about 20 meteor showers per hour will appear from the constellation of Aquarius close to the star Skat, which is about 160 light-years away.
The best time to view it is an hour or two before dawn. The report states that places in the equatorial region and in the Southern Hemisphere get the best view of the Delta Aquariid meteor shower since its radiant is higher above the horizon.
According to a report in Earthsky.org, the best way to differentiate between the Perseid meteors from Delta Aquariid meteors is by their radiant points. The Delta Aquariid meteors appear to radiate from a certain point in front of the constellation, arcing across the southern sky.
On the other hand, the Perseids radiate from the constellation Perseus, in the northeast to high in the north between midnight and dawn. Thus meteors coming from the south are Delta Aquariids, while those coming from the northeast or north are Perseids.
The mystery behind the parent body of the Delta Aquariid meteor is not known with certainty. Earlier it was thought to have originated from the breakup of the Marsden and Kracht sungrazing comets. However, more recently, it is thought to have originated from the Comet 96P Machholz.
The comet was discovered by Donald Machholz in 1986. It completes an orbit around the Sun every 5.24 years. This makes its closest approach to the Sun at 11 million miles, which is very close for a comet.
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