Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower 2022

Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower 2022

25/07/2022Written by Lucy Spencer

In 2022, the Delta Aquariids will peak on 29 or 30 July with up to 25 meteors per hour.

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Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower

Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower

This year, the Delta Aquariid meteor shower is active from 12 July to 23 August. This shower lacks a definite peak, but best viewing will be on the early mornings of 29 or 30 July.  

The radiant of this meteor shower appears to come from near the star Delta Aquarii in the constellation Aquarius. The radiant will rise above the horizon around midnight but will reach its highest point above the southern horizon around 03:00 and will have a steady stream of up to 25 meteors per hour. 

How to Watch from the UK

How to Watch from the UK
Screenshot of Stellarium showing Aquarius. Credit: Stellarium

To watch the Delta Aquariids meteor shower, look just above the southern horizon after 02:00 on 29 or 30 July – the thin crescent moon on these nights will be below the horizon at this time, so there will be no moonlight pollution. 

Find a dark sky area, wrap up warm, and allow 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust and scan the skies to enjoy the shooting stars using only the optical tool nature gave you – your eyes! 

To find your nearest dark sky site use Go Stargazing. 

What is a Meteor Shower?

What is a Meteor Shower?
The Delta Aquariids meteor shower over Mount St Helens in Washington State, USA. Credit: Diana Robinson

Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the debris of a comet. The dust and gas left behind by the comet burn up in the atmosphere causing a shooting star.  

The Delta Aquariids meteor shower likely comes from the comet 96P/Machholz. It is estimated to be 6.4 kilometres in diameter and takes just over five years to complete an orbit of the Sun. This comet is known as a sungrazing comet, which is where the comet can get within 1,400,000 kilometres of the Sun on its closest approach. 

Meteor Infographic

Meteor Infographic
Meteor Shower Guide

Download our National Space Centre Meteor Shower Guide to make sure you are fully prepared to watch the Delta Aquarids!

Other upcoming meteor showers for 2022 include:

Perseids
Comet of Origin: 109P/Swift-Tuttle
Radiant: constellation Perseus
Peak Activity: 12/13 Aug 2022
Peak Activity Meteor Count: 100 meteors per hour

Draconids
Associated with Comet 21/P Giacobini-Zimmer
Radiant: Draco constellation
Peak Activity: 8/9 October 2022
Peak Activity Meteor Count: variable 

Orionids
Comet of Origin: Halley
Radiant: constellation Orion
Peak Activity: 21/22 Oct 2022
Peak Activity Meteor Count: 25 meteors per hour 

Taurids
Comet of Origin: 2P/Encke
Radiant: constellation Taurus
Peak Activity: 12/13 Nov 2022
Peak Activity Meteor Count: 5 meteors per hour 

Leonids
Comet of Origin: 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
Radiant: constellation Leo
Peak Activity: 17/18 Nov 2022
Peak Activity Meteor Count: 10 meteors per hour 

Geminids
Comet of Origin: 3200 Phaethon
Radiant: constellation Gemini
Peak Activity: 14/15 Dec 2022
Peak Activity Meteor Count: 150 meteors per hour 

Ursids
Comet of Origin: 8P/Tuttle
Radiant: constellation Ursa Minor
Peak Activity: 22/23 December 2022
Peak Activity Meteor Count: 10 meteors per hour 

Clear skies!