Meteor shower season is here and this is the weekend to watch

August is normally prime time for shooting stars. This year a full moon and multiple showers mean the time to check out the night sky comes early.

Eric Mack
Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Contributing editor Eric Mack covers space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
2 min read

Meteors can be seen from the International Space Station, too.


The fantastic Perseid meteor shower peaks in August, but a bright full moon on August 7 this year means late July is the time to watch for the famous "shooting stars."

If you head outside at night over the next few days to try to catch them, you'll also benefit from the overlap of two other meteor showers: the lesser-known Alpha Capricornids that will peak Thursday night and then hang around a few more nights, and the Southern Delta Aquariids that will peak Saturday and Sunday.

That's right, it's a three-for-one red-hot space rock show that won't cost you a dime.

Even though the Perseids aren't quite at their peak this weekend, you can likely still see them, especially from the Northern Hemisphere, while the Delta Aquariids are easier to see from the southern tropics, according to the American Meteor Society.

The Alpha Capricornids can be seen just fine from either side of the equator, and though they may only produce a handful of meteors per hour, they are known for producing particularly bright fireballs.

So while it might not be as memorable as the total solar eclipse that will criss-cross the United States on August 21, this promises to be a good weekend for sky-watching.

Getting a good seat for the celestial show is easy enough. Just find a spot as far away from all artificial light as you can and head outside on a clear night between midnight and dawn. Give your eyes at least 10 to 20 minutes to adjust to the dark and then lie back and look straight up.  

Should you happen to catch any meteors' final moments with your camera, please share the photos with me on Twitter @EricCMack.

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