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The Delta Aquarids

21 Jul 2013, 00:00 UTC
The Delta Aquarids
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During the next two weeks or so, you may see up to 20 bright yellow meteors per hour that trace back to a point near a star named Skat. These are the Delta Aquarid meteors. The star Skat is also called δ Aquarii. Continue reading →

¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for the week ending July 27, 2013
During the next two weeks or so, you may see up to 20 bright yellow meteors per hour that trace back to a point near a star named Skat. These are the Delta Aquarid meteors. The star Skat is also called δ Aquarii.
This meteor shower peaks on or about July 29. That’s when Earth passes closest to or through the dust trail responsible for it. Astronomers think that’s Comet 96P/Machholz. David Machholz discovered the comet in 1986. In the years since, scientists who analyzed its orbit have come to suspect Comet Machholz is the parent of the Delta Aquarids.
Comet Machholz orbits the sun every five years, going closer to the sun than Mercury and farther from it than Jupiter during that time. The comet was closest to the sun a year ago and will be again in October 2017. If the ...

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