Delta Aquariids meteor shower: Exactly when and where to spot shooting stars as it peaks

Two meteor showers sweep across the sky during summer every year. First is the famous Perseid shower, which typically peaks in August, with many people even camping out to catch a glimpse of it.

The second one is the lesser known Delta Aquariids meteor shower, which begin to shimmer in the sky in mid-July and peaks in late July.

The shooting stars for this meteor shower is much fainter than that of Perseid, but still just as mesmerising.

So if you like stargazing and you’re hoping to watch the Delta Aquariids showers, here’s everything you need to know about it including when to watch, when it peaks and the best ways to spot the shooting stars.

When to watch the Delta Aquariids meteor shower?

Delta Aquariids showers last from mid-July to August. The best time to watch the showers is between mid-evening and dawn, with the highest radiance being around 2am.

A peak is predicted between Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30, according to Royal Museums Greenwich. However, don’t worry if you miss the peak date as the meteors will be shooting across the sky until August 21.

Under ideal conditions, the Delta Aquariids’ maximum hourly rate can reach 25 meteors in dark skies with no moon.

How do I spot the Delta Aquariids showers?

Your best chance at seeing a meteor shower is on a night when the sky is clear and dark, without clouds if possible.

It’s also important to minimise light pollution. This can be difficult in the city but easier in the countryside, where your view of the night sky is much clearer.

The UK has several ‘dark sky’ zones where you can get the best view of the skies. Find your nearest dark zone through maps from organisations like Dark Sky Discovery or CPRE.

A good area would be one where your view won’t be obscured by buildings or trees. For instance, fields and hills – which given an unobstructed view of the entire night sky – make great vantage points.

Once you’ve found a good area, get comfortable, lie down on your back and give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness.

You might also catch more stars if you look towards the Aquarius constellation, which you can find by using apps like Skymap or SkyView.

However, shooting stars are unpredictable and can appear anywhere in the night sky, so don’t worry too much about focusing on a particular region.

How to take good pictures of shooting stars?
You don’t have to be pro to capture good pictures of shooting stars.

According to image monitory company Pixsy, selecting a camera with light sensitivity, exposure times of between five and 30 seconds and wide aperture give the best results for images of the Delta Aquariids.

You might also have to adjust settings according to the conditions on the day to get the best shots.

You don’t need a camera, you can also use your smartphone to take attractive shots of the shooting stars and the night sky.