Delta Aquariids meteor shower: Southern Canada could get glimpse Friday night

Canadians living in the southernmost parts of the country may be able to catch a glimpse Friday night of the Delta Aquariids meteor shower, weather permitting.

The southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower is active from mid-July to late August, but peaks Friday, NASA says.

The meteors can be seen coming from the direction of the constellation Aquarius and are best viewed in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as southern latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, according to NASA.

Paul Delaney, a physics and astronomy professor at York University, told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview on Friday that because of this, those wanting to view the meteor shower in Canada would need a good vantage point facing the south and southeast horizon.

“If it’s clear tonight, people will get some pretty good views of it,” he said.

As with any meteor shower, it is best viewed after midnight local time as the Earth rotates into the debris stream, Delaney says.

The moon’s presence would typically make the metors difficult to spot. But because of the new moon happening now, Delaney says the skies will be dark — as long as there isn’t any cloud cover.

“Meteor showers are a hit and miss affair,” Delaney said. “You can have a good night, you can have a bad night, regardless of what the moon’s condition is. It’s one of those things where you don’t know until you’ve actually gone out there and had a look.”

He advises stargazers to stay outside for about 15 to 20 minutes to ensure their eyes are fully adapted to the dark so they don’t miss the meteor shower.

The area you are watching the metor shower should also be safe to do so, Delaney said. He added telescopes and binoculars shouldn’t be needed for tonight’s viewing.

NASA says those unable to view the southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower during its peak can look for the Perseids meteor shower, happening in the northern part of the sky in August.

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