Watch the Delta Aquarids meteor shower tonight

The nights may be short, but with the weather warm it's a great time to check out some sky magic.

The Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks Thursday and Friday. Though it's an average meteor shower compared to others throughout the year, you can still see up to 20 meteors per hour.

The best time to look up is between midnight and just before dawn. Gaze toward the southern sky for the best viewing. The moon is only a crescent, so its light won't disrupt the show.

This annual meteor shower is best for observers in the Southern Hemisphere, along with those in the more southerly regions of the Northern Hemisphere, according to, where you can also watch the shower.

Although the Perseids meteor shower is the better known celestial summer event, with more than 150 meteors per hour flickering through the sky (so keep your eyes peeled August 11, 12, and 13), the Delta Aquarids is still nothing to sneeze at. The meteors are thought to come from a comet discovered in 1986, 96P Machholz, USA Today reports, and are most likely to be spotted in the late evening, or around 2 or 3 a.m. For the best chance at seeing some shooting stars, look to the south.

The Delta Aquarid meteor shower takes its name from Delta Aquarii, a star in the constellation Aquarius, according to Sky and Telescope. The meteors fan out across the sky, but all appear to streak away from a point in central Aquarius called the radiant.

Delta Aquarid meteors are believed to come from the comet 96P Machholz, which was discovered in 1986.

Meteor showers are created when Earth crosses the orbital path of a comet. Bits of dust and debris from the remnants of the comet light up the sky when they enter and burn up in our atmosphere.

It doesn't much matter where you live, either, as NASA reassured stargazers that most of the world can see the Delta Aquarids. "With clear, dark skies away from city lights, you can see meteors any time after full dark, with peak viewing times in the two hours before dawn (your local time)," NASA said. Luckily, with the moon a waning crescent this evening, it will be dark enough to spot the meteors as they burn up at 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

And hey, if the outdoors isn't your thing, you can watch from your couch by clicking here. Jeva Lange  Source

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