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Witness shooting stars: see the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower this summer

Witness shooting stars: see the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower this summer

Witness shooting stars: see the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower this summer

The Alpha Capricornids are going to be visible as early as July 2, peaking on July 28-30 and continuing until mid-August. Additionally, on the night of July 28, the moon will be 66 percent full, making the meteor shower even easier to see.

What are the Alpha Capricornids?

The Alpha Capricornids are seen within the boundaries of the Capricornus constellation. They are characterised by their slow, bright yellow fireballs and brief streaks of light, often called “shooting stars”. The parent body of the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower is comet 169P/NEAT. 

It was the Dutch American astronomer Peter Jenniskens and his French fellow-astronomer Jeremie Vaubaillon who discovered the parent or source body, comet 169P/NEAT. According to them, the meteor shower was created 3.500 to 5.000 years ago, when about half of the parent body fell apart. 

How to view shooting stars this summer

Meteor shower viewings are especially for night owls or for very early risers! Go some place where there is little or no artificial light. The best time to view the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower, as long as the weather allows, is from 11pm until 4.30am.

During the peak on July 28-30, the zenithal hourly rate, or the amount of bright streaks you should be able to see per hour, is about four. On either side of the peak time between July 2 and August 14, there will still be a chance of seeing “shooting stars” though it will be fewer than four per hour. In short, the best outcome of viewing meteor showers is for those who wait!

 

Rachel Deloughry

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Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

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