Next month brings the astronomical event to beat all astronomical events: a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse. But before you buy your special glasses in preparation for August 21, you'll want to look up at July's night sky. This month brings the annual Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower to the heavens above.
Though you may see some meteors now, the best time to watch will be in late July, with the shower peaking July 27 and 28. EarthSky reports the waxing crescent moon will set before midnight those nights, making for a dark night sky that will allow you to get clear views of the light show between midnight and dawn. On those peak days, you may see as many as 15 to 20 meteors flashing through the night.
Although the Delta Aquariid shower will continue into August, the month's full moon falls early, on August 7, making it harder to see the meteors then. After the Sturgeon Moon reaches peak fullness, the Perseid Meteor Shower, one of the Northern Hemisphere's best showers, will reach its peak on August 12 and August 13.
Then, it's clear skies and full steam ahead to the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. If you haven't made travel plans you're likely out of luck. Many hotels and campsites that fall within the eclipse's best viewing range, also known as the path of totality, were already completely booked earlier this year. Don't mess with loyal eclipse viewers. However, you can always try your luck and enter one of the many contests taking place for prime viewing spots. Warby Parker is flying one lucky winner out to its perfectly positioned Nashville store for the spectacle.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. This month, find a park with an unobstructed view of the night sky and settle in for a summer evening of meteor shower-gazing.