The best nights to seeprobably for us, but celestial observers should look this week to see if meteor rain hits their stride.
A handfulare currently active, including Alpha-Capricorns and Southern Delta Aquariums, which peak on July 29th. Also this week, the moon is only partially lit, and Neowise should still be visible to the binoculars, leaving little excuse not to go outside in the dark and spend little time just looking.
Last week, I ventured into an exceptionally dark evening in the New Mexico desert, a few miles from the lights of the nearest small town. I turned north, the Great Sip in the sky, and moved down a little. The Comet Neowise with its long, flaming tail was evident, even before my eyes were fully adapted to the darkness.
I spent less than 10 minutes outside watching the night sky, and during that time I was able to see two meteors clattering nearby, including one that seems to have cut Neowise’s tail. It was a really great spectacle that instantly made me regret it.
Some of you did not regret and shared with me your best Neowise photos:
One Wisconsin photographer seems to have captured the same double image I saw:
Robert Lunsford, a spokesman for the American Meteor Society, currently says over a dozen meteor rains are currently activated, but only a few are likely to produce many visible shooting stars. Southern Delta Aquariums, Alpha-Capricorn, Anthelion Meteor Rain this week can produce several meteors per hour. The famous Perseids are also just driving, but can generate one or two taillights per hour.
“The estimated total hourly meteor rate per hour for evening observers this week is close to 4 when viewed from the middle of the northern latitudes, and 3 when viewed from the tropical southern locations (25S). north latitude (45N) and 19 from the tropical south (25S), ”Lunsford writes in his weekly meteorological forecast.
“Actual speeds will also depend on factors such as personal perception of light and motion, local weather conditions, vigilance, and experience in observing meteor activity. Moonlight reduces evening rates during this period.”
Remember that the best way to see Neowise and meteorites is as far away from light pollution as possible. In the western sky, look for the comet after the Big Dipper and! Keep those stellar, erotic, comic images that fall on @EricCMack, Twitter, or Instagram.