Whatever your plans are this weekend, you should most certainly take a break on Sunday to catch the best meteor shower of the year. The Delta Aquarids meteor shower is an annual event that occurs from around July 12 to August 23, complete with shooting stars and comets. This year, the spectacular sights will peak this coming Sunday, July 28th.
There’s a whole bunch of science-y reasons why this meteor shower will be particularly brilliant, like the fact that the New Moon is coming on August 1 (meaning in late July, there’ll be significantly less moonlight to get in the way of the magic). But all you really need to know is that if you head outside on Sunday and look to the southern skies, you’re bound to be awe-struck.
To get the best out of the experience, go out after midnight and stay away from other artificial light sources, such as streetlights. Yes, it’s past your kid’s bedtime (and honestly, may be past your bedtime) but considering how epic this will be, it’s worth making an exception. If you can, spread out a blanket and lay on your back to get the full experience. According to NASA, you can expect to see up to 20 shooting stars per hour during the meteor’s peak, each moving around 25 miles per second.
Don’t forget to keep your cell phones and other devices turned off or put away – the light can inhibit your night vision. NASA also advises that the views will be best in the southern hemisphere and southern latitudes of the northern hemisphere. But even if you miss the comets, you can’t beat a midnight star-gazing session to close out the weekend.