Every summer, sky watchers look forward to observe the renowned Perseid meteor shower, but often they overlook some lesser displays that peak in the late July and early August.
This year, a waxing gibbous moon is expected to hamper the Perseid watching, so it is time to use this opportunity to watch for meteor showers in the upcoming week.
Apart from the shower meteors there are the sporadic shooting stars always that are actually unrelated to each other and are at an average rate of 7 per hour.
There is a need to say the actual number of meteors that can be seen by an observer in an hour as there are all chances to differ with the numbers quoted and this depends on the conditions of the sky.
Such estimates are calculated taking a limiting star magnitude of +6.5 that is a dark sky, an experienced observer and the radiant that is the point of meteors emanation directly overhead. The lower the radiant means, the fewer are the meteors seen. Keeping the radiant about 30 degrees above the horizon means the hourly rate is halved; at 15 degrees, which means the rate is cut by two-thirds.
The radiants of the meteor showers will reach their highest points in the southern part of the sky at midnight and 4 a.m. local daylight time, at the altitudes ranging between 15 and 30 degrees above the horizon.
• Capricornids meteors are predicted for July 26 and the shower is from July 10 to Aug 1. Only few Capricornids will come per hour, so most other meteors will be other shower members or sporadic.
• Delta Aquarids peak shower is on July 28 and the meteors will run from July 15 to August 15.
• Piscis Austrinids This shower peak is on July 31, and is active from July 15 to Aug. 20.