A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky. Next month we will see one of the best Perseid meteor showers in years. There’s a very strange comet flying through our solar neighborhood that is like nothing astronomers have ever seen in a another comet.
And this had led some to speculate that maybe it’s not from around here but came to our solar neighborhood by chance from a completely different solar system far way.
It’s called Comet 69P/Machholz, and it’s the most-likely suspect responsible for the annual meteor shower happening this week. If that’s the case, then right now Earth is flying through this alien comet’s tail, which consists of dust and debris the comet has shed in its path around the sun. As these comet guts get swept up by Earth’s gravity, they fall toward us, burning up in the atmosphere on their way down in the form of what we call shooting stars — or a meteor shower. This week’s show of falling stars is called the Delta Aquarid meteor shower.
The shower takes place from July 12 through August 23, but the best time to catch a glimpse — when the most meteors are streaking across the sky — will be early Wednesday morning, after moon-set and before sunrise centered around 2 a.m. (for all time zones), according to EarthSky. The Delta Aquarid meteor shower is not as spectacular as next month’s Perseid meteor shower, but it’s still worth checking out. You’ll need to have dark skies, far from city lights. At peak viewing time you should see between 10 to 20 meteors an hour. FULL REPORT