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Summer's best meteor showers streak night skies

Just in time for the new moon, the Delta Aquarid showers peak on Monday and Tuesday and the Perseid showers start to get under way.

A Perseid meteor shower. NASA/JPL

It's the time of year to head to the hills for some stargazing. The peak of one of summer's spectacular meteor showers is nicely timed with the new moon's dark skies.

The 2014 Delta Aquarid showers are set to peak on Monday and Tuesday nights, according to NASA. While these showers are typically considered a minor show with about 15 to 20 meteors per hour, the dark sky will help those blasts shine bright.

Another bonus to the Delta Aquarids shower is that most of the world will be able to see them -- although those people in the southern hemisphere and the northern hemisphere tropics will get the best views. The key time to catch the show is two hours before dawn local time.

If heading outside before dawn doesn't sound like fun, people can watch a live stream of the showers from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center on Ustream. Slooh will also have a live broadcast of the flying meteors.

While the Delta Aquarid showers peak early in the week, meteors should still be easily visible toward the end of the week. This is because the brilliant Perseid showers will just be starting to get under way. This year the Perseid showers peak on August 12 and 13, according to NASA; but, because of the nearly full moon on those dates, they won't be as brilliant as years past. However, this week's dark skies will display many of Perseid's early meteors.