Australian skies to be lit up by meteor showers throughout the week

Spectacular meteor showers will be visible in Australian skies tonight – here are the best times to view the display

  • Australian skies will be lit up by three meteor showers that will peak this week
  • The Piscis Austrinids will peak on Thursday and can be seen from the east coast
  • The Southern Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids will peak on Saturday

Stargazers are in for a treat this week as a trio of meteor showers are set to light up Australian skies, with the first one illuminating the east coast from Thursday.

The Piscis Austrinids meteor shower will peak on Thursday and be active until August 10, while the Southern Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids will peak on Saturday. 

The optimal period to view the three meteor showers will last about 48 hours.

Australian skies will be lit up by three meteor showers this week (stock image)

Australian skies will be lit up by three meteor showers this week (stock image)

Professor Orsola De Marco from Macquarie University told The Guardian that Piscis Austrinids will rise from 8pm in the south-east of the sky and head due east by 11pm for Aussies on the east coast wishing to see the spectacle.

‘Look towards the east, about 45 degrees up – about halfway between the horizon and above your head,’ she said. 

The Southern Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids are scheduled to rise at 11pm on Saturday around the east-northeast and north-northeast of the sky, respectively.

Professor De Marco says the Southern Delta Aquariids will have the most meteors after rising, with up to 20 soaring past in an hour.

They will be the ‘quickest’ meteors out of the three showers this week.

The Alpha Capricornids is forecast to be ‘relatively bright’. It will feature ‘fireballs’ which are bright meteors.

There will be about four going past every hour for Alpha Capricornids and five for Piscis Austrinids.

The Piscis Austrinids meteor shower will peak on Thursday on the east coast, while the Southern Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids will peak on Saturday (stock image)

The Piscis Austrinids meteor shower will peak on Thursday on the east coast, while the Southern Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids will peak on Saturday (stock image)

Meteors are space rocks that enter earth’s atmosphere. When several enter the atmosphere at the same time it is considered to be a meteor shower.

When a meteor falls towards earth, the air resistance makes it extremely hot, giving it its famous light streak.

NASA says meteor showers happen ‘annually or at regular intervals as the Earth passes through the trail of dusty debris left by a comet’. 

Meteor showers are named after stars or constellations ‘close to where the meteors appear in the sky’.

When and where the meteor showers will be visible 

* The Piscis Austrinids meteor shower will be visible from July 28 (tonight). It will rise from 8pm in the south-east. Look 45 degrees up. 

* The Southern Delta Aquariids is scheduled to rise at 11pm on Saturday, July 30 and will be visible to the east-northeast. Look 45 degrees up.

* The Alpha Capricornids meteor shower will rise at 11pm on Saturday, July 30 and will be visible to the north-northeast. Look 65 degrees up.

* The peak period for meteor showers lasts 48 hours.

* There will be a Perseid meteor shower that is expected to peak at 5am on August 13.

 

 

 

 

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