The annual Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks overnight tonight (July 28), and you can watch the event live via a special webcast by the online Slooh Community Observatory.
Viewers can check out shots of the Delta Aquarids taken by telescopes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan operated by Slooh and several partner organizations. The main show starts at 8 p.m. EDT today (0000 GMT Friday), though an early broadcast is also available today at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) from Japan. The shows can be viewed live on the Slooh website. Viewers can send questions to @Slooh on Twitter, or chat live with the team on Slooh.com. The webcast will also be available here on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh.
"This annual meteor shower is best for observers in the Southern Hemisphere and more southerly regions of the Northern Hemisphere, but no matter where you are, you can watch the shower on Slooh," the observatory's representatives wrote in a press release. [How to See the Best Summer Meteor Showers of 2016]
Meteor showers occur when Earth plows into a stream of debris left behind by a comet or an active asteroid. But exactly which comet or asteroid causes the Delta Aquarids remains a mystery, Slooh representatives said. The suspected culprit is Comet 96/P Machholz, which was discovered in 1986 by Slooh member Don Machholz. The meteor shower, however, has been known since at least the 1870s.
Today's broadcast will be hosted by Paul Cox and Slooh astronomers Bob Berman and Eric Edelman, Slooh said. They will cover various topics, including the cause of meteor showers and folklore about the constellation Aquarius (the direction from which the meteor shower appears to radiate in the night sky.)
Coverage will come from Slooh's headquarters in Washington Depot, Connecticut, and three international partners: the United Kingdom Meteor Observation Network, Canada's David Thompson Astronomical Observatory and Weathernews Japan.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night-sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at email@example.com.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace