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Keep your eyes to the sky: Twin meteor showers could produce fireballs this week

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 7/28/2021 Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
a person in a blue sky: A meteor streaks over Yellowstone Park. © Getty Images/iStockphoto A meteor streaks over Yellowstone Park.

A pair of meteor showers will appear in the night sky this week, one of the few opportunities to see one during the warm summer.

The showers – known as the Southern Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids – are set to peak Wednesday night and into the early morning hours Thursday , AccuWeather said. 

The Southern Delta Aquariids will produce 12 faint meteors per hour on average in the Southern sky, according to the Griffith Observatory. An hour or two before dawn is usually the best time to watch this shower, EarthSky said. 

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The Alpha Capricornids will offer about five strong, bright shooting stars each hour, the American Meteor Society said. "This shower is not very strong and rarely produces in excess of five shower members per hour. What is notable about this shower is the number of bright fireballs produced during its activity period," the AMS said.

These incredibly bright fireballs could light up the entire sky for a few fleeting seconds, according to AccuWeather.

Moonlight could wash out some of the dimmer meteors once the moon rises around midnight. "So keep your eyes off the moon at all times," AccuWeather said, "and head to a dark area far away from city lights to maximize viewing conditions."

Want to see fireballs light up the sky? Here's how to catch the Perseid meteor shower

All you really need to do is look up, according to Prevention magazine: “You can experience the magic of the nighttime without any equipment,” Jackie Faherty, a Hubble fellow at the Carnegie Institute for Science’s Earth and Planets Laboratory, told Prevention. 

Give your eyes 15 to 20 minutes of darkness to adjust. “Don’t look at your phone, or you’re going to ruin your night vision,” she said.

If you miss the twin showers this week, don't fret: What's usually one of the top showers of the year, the Perseids, is set to peak on the night of Aug. 11. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Keep your eyes to the sky: Twin meteor showers could produce fireballs this week

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