Are ready for the Delta Aquarids? If, like me, you think that sounds like a fraternity for sea creatures, then you are not. However, never fear, for I have tracked down all the details on what the heck this really is, and am ready to provide the details on this amazing meteor shower. That's right, the Delta Aquarids meteor shower 2019 is totally peaking this weekend. Here is everything you need to know, should you be fond of staring up at the night sky and remembering that you are but an insignificant speck of dust in the grand scheme of the universe.
According to Earthsky, this dazzling celestial event is officially active from around July 12 to August 23 every year, but the best viewing will be this Sunday though Wednesday, with the peak this year happening on July 28. While people in the southern hemisphere will have a better view, we'll still be able to catch glimpses of it here.
The ideal time to go strain your neck heavenward is between midnight and dawn. So for all you new moms out there, when you're up at 2 a.m. breastfeeding this Sunday, might I suggest maybe giving a pass on scrolling Instagram, and instead head to the window for a bit of star-gazing? I guarantee that watching dozens of falling stars streaking across the sky will be much more gratifying for your soul than squinting jealously at a pic of Chelsea from high school giving the peace sign on a speed boat in Italy.
This shower is significant because it's long-lasting, and as there is a new moon a'comin', it means viewing conditions will be ideal. (So long as you aren't blanketed in cloud cover, of course.) According to Patch, skywatchers could see 10 to 20 meteors per hour.
My husband happens to be a smarty amateur astronomer nerd who owns a telescope the size of a baby cow. And while I am not knowledgable enough to engage in an actual conversation about space (I still remember all the planets by reciting "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles"), I am fond of picking up his latest issue of Astronomy magazine and reading the titles of the articles in my sexiest voice. Like, "Tackle a globular cluster showdown...big boy." Which does sound vaguely filthy, but is actually just something about star groups. (Note: the "big boy" is clearly my own addition, and does not appear in Astronomy magazine. At least not the current issue.)
Anyway, my husband is excited by the prospect of the Delta Aquarids, though as we live in New York City — which is essentially like living inside a lightbulb — he doesn't imagine he'll be able to see much. He also was quick to explain to me that meteor showers are not "falling stars," but are actually cosmic debris entering the earth's atmosphere, and the streak of light is not in fact a unicorn's tail, as I like to think, but is actually the glowing hot air as the meteroids zips through space.
Whatever. The point is it's pretty, and if you're up, you should check it out.