ST. LOUIS – Stargazers have a lot to look forward to Monday night into early Tuesday morning. Dueling meteor showers will light up the sky and luckily, clouds should clear in time. Two meteor showers will peak Monday night – the Southern Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids.
The Southern Delta Aquariids are active now through August 23 and will bring about 16 meteors across the sky per hour. The Alpha Capricornids are active through August 15 and will bring around 5 meteors per hour. This means about 20 to 25 meteors may be visible per hour.
The best time to begin looking for these meteors will be late-evening to around midnight. Make sure to turn off all lights and get away from street lights to improve your chances of seeing them. These shooting stars can seem to streak across the entire sky but they’ll come from the southeast and south through the night.
The Perseids are also active right now but they won’t peak until August 12 and there will be a full moon which will make the meteors harder to see.
"Really, the most ideal thing you can do is to lay out on a nice blanket if you don’t have to go into work or school tomorrow and if you can just be patient, you might stand a chance of seeing a few shooting stars overhead. One nice thing is … one of our two meteor showers, the Alpha Capricornids, they’re famous for not many meteors but for bright fireballs. So, hopefully, we have a chance of seeing maybe a little more exciting show because of that," said Will Snyder, manager of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium.
In addition to the clearing skies, with a new moon arriving in just a few days, these meteor showers won’t have to compete with as much natural light pollution. This will make for optimal conditions to witness these meteors. Also, Snyder recommends that you use your own eyes versus binoculars or a telescope and to give your eyes 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness.