Tau Aquarid meteor shower

2016 Aug 5

Dominic Ford – originally published on In-The-Sky.org

The τ–Aquarid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 6 August 2016. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from Jul to Aug.

The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location is around 8 per hour (ZHR). The Moon will be 4 days old at the time of peak activity, and so will present minimal interference.

The radiant of the τ–Aquarid meteor shower is at around right ascension 21h50m, declination -15°, as shown by the green cross on the planetarium above. At midnight, it appears 22° above your southern horizon from London (click to change). All of the meteors will appear to be travelling directly outward from this point, as indicated by the white lines drawn above.

The best place to look to see as many meteors as possible is not at the radiant itself, but at any dark patch of sky which is around 90° away from it, since it is at a distance of around 90° from the radiant that meteors will typically appear at their brightest.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of In-The-Sky.org