December 6, 2022

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Meteor visible in Virginia skies Thursday night

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The Delta Aquariids meteor shower was visible in Arlington and Loudoun on Thursday night

ARLINGTON, Va. — Virginia sky watchers were treated to a spectacular view of a meteor shower on Thursday night.

Several viewers shared video with us of a big, bright meteor visible over Arlington and Loudoun County in the Commonwealth. The meteor was part of the Delta Aquariids meteor shower. According to NASA’s website, the meteor shower is active from July 18 through August 21, 2022, with the peak of the shower happening on July 29.

The Delta Aquariids meteors are best viewed in the southern hemisphere and southern latitudes of the northern hemisphere. The radiant point — the area from which the meteors will appear to originate and where stargazers should look — is the constellation Aquarius in the southeastern sky. 

If you missed the show on Thursday, don’t worry. The Delta Aquariids could be visible again in August during the peak of the Perseids meteor shower.

Long considered “the best meteor shower of the year,” the Perseids typically feature dozens of meteors that are able to be seen every hour during the warm summertime peak.

NASA says you’ll know you’re looking at Delta Aquariids meteors because they will be coming from the direction of the constellation Aquarius – its radiant will be in the southern part of the sky. The Perseid radiant is in the northern part of the sky. 

Unfortunately, 2022 may not be a great year for viewing this celestial show because the Perseids’ peak, on Aug. 12-13, will occur during a full moon. However, as EarthSky notes, the Perseids should be active from July 14 to Sept. 1, so eager sky watchers can try watching for meteors on other nights.

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2022-07-29 07:55:15

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