Aerospace Affairs Blog

2021 Perseids

The Perseids meteor shower is here! The Perseids are known to be the most popular meteor shower in the northern hemisphere, as they peak on warm August nights. The Perseids are active from July 17 to August 24 and will be peaking during the night of August 11-12, local time. Normal rates seen from rural locations range from 50-75 shower members per hour at maximum. They are called Perseids since the radiant (the area of the sky where the meteors seem to originate) is located near the prominent constellation of Perseus the hero when at maximum activity.

On this night, the moon will only be 13% full! An unusual treat, as most meteor showers this year have been accompanied by unaccommodating, bright moons.

2021 southern delta Aquariids and alpha Capricornids

It's been nearly two months since the last meteor shower and the drought is finally over! To make up for it, we have TWO showers this week! Both peaking the night of July 28-29, we have the southern delta Aquariids and the alpha Capricornids. Meteors can be visible each night during the week surrounding the peak night.

The Southern delta Aquariids will be most visible for those in the southern hemisphere and will produce good rates, though these are usually faint meteors that lack persistent trains and fireballs.

The alpha Capricornids shower will be equally visible on either side of the equator. It is not very strong and rarely produces in excess of five shower members per hour, but what is notable about this shower is the number of bright fireballs produced during its activity period.

Unfortunately, the bright gibbous Moon on the peak date will severely reduce the number of meteors seen, so continue your meteor-watching on the following few nights, when the Moon will wane and rise later.