By Brian Lada AccuWeather meteorologist and employee author
26th July 2019, 14:21:23 EDT
From a total solar eclipse to spectacular views of Saturn, July has shown a wide range of astronomical events. And on Monday evening, the month ends with the first meteor shower for nearly three months.
Not one, but two meteor showers will peak on the night of Monday, July 29, until the early hours of Tuesday, July 30: the southern Delta Aquarids and the Alpha Ibex. This is the first time since the Eta Aquarids in early May that meteors rained from the sky.
A combination of 20 to 25 meteors will be visible per hour, unless visibility conditions are affected by clouds.
Millions of sky watchers in the eastern United States will step outside on Monday night to see mostly cloud-free conditions for the peak of the showers. However, those in larger cities such as Boston, Philadelphia and Atlanta must travel to darker areas away from light pollution, which affects viewing conditions.
Clear conditions also exist in most areas of central and western US, with rain, thunderstorms and clouds covering the skies above the Great Lakes and parts of Arizona and New Mexico.
People who miss the meteor shower on Monday evening should still be able to see some in the first nights of August, as both showers have a high peak.
on the night of the maximum, "said the American Meteor Society (AMS) on its website.
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This year will be a particularly good year for viewing these meteor showers, as they peak only a few nights before the new moon. This means that the natural light pollution is very low. Light pollution from city lights, however, may disturb the display.
When and where to look
Like most meteor showers, the best time to look for shooting stars on Monday night is after midnight, local time. Spectators who go outside before midnight should still be able to see streaks in the sky, but less than in the second half of the night.
Meteors associated with both the southern delta aquarids and the alpha capricornids emanate from the southern sky near the constellations Aquarius and Capriornus, from which their names are derived.
However, meteors can be seen in all areas of the sky, not just near the radiation points.
Stargazers who miss the dueling meteor shower do not have to wait long for the next meteor shower to grace the sky.
When the calendar turns to August, the eyes of the stargazers will be focused on the Perseids, one of the best meteor showers of the year, peaking on the night of August 12 to the early morning of August 13.  "The Perseids are the most popular meteor shower as they peak in warm August nights from the northern hemisphere," said the AMS.
"Normal rates seen from rural locations range between 50 and 75 showers per hour," added the AMS, possibly even far from light pollution. However, the almost complete moon during the peak of the Perseids will reduce the number of shooting stars that will be visible in 2019.
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