East July 30 will occur on peak of activity of the Delta Aquarids 2022. It’s a moderately active meteor shower that generally goes unnoticed in favor of the ever-popular Perseids. But this year the scenery it is different.
When can you enjoy the Delta Aquarids?
The truth is that 2022 is a bad year in terms of the great meteor showers. The Perseids will match the Moon in phase of full moon. That is, the brightness of our satellite will be a big problem throughout the night.
By hiding the fainter meteors, we will see fewer shooting stars than other years. To make matters worse, the geminids will match the Moon in phase of last quarterso we are faced with the same problem.
The Delta Aquarids 2022, however, they will coincide with the moon in phase new Moon, which will take place just two days before. So, although its activity is much less, it will be a good opportunity to observe the sky.
Under ideal conditions, Delta Aquarids can reach 25 meteors per hour. This estimate assumes that the observation is made under ideal conditions. That is, without any light pollution, with the moon in the new moon phase.
In addition, also with the radiant high in the sky and in the best hours of observation. If these factors change, we will naturally see a smaller amount. For all this, from Spain we can expect to see between 12 and 18 meteors per hour, approximately.
In the Iberian Peninsula we can expect to see around 12-15, depending on where we are. From the Canary Islands the figure will be closer to 18 meteors per hour. Of course, without any light pollution.
Where to see in the best way?
One of the factors that plays against us the most, in any astronomical appointment, is the Light pollution. The impact of city light, for example, is tremendous. In big cities, like Madrid or Barcelona, we can see a derisory amount of stars.
The contrast is enormous with the observation conditions in a rural area, far from large populations. The sky is completely different, allowing us to see, if the conditions are right, even the nebulosity of the Milky Way.
For this reason, tools like Light Pollution Map are tremendously useful. At a glance we can see the level of light pollution in our environment. If we click on any point on the map, we will obtain the data for that area.
Here, for example, we can see that in Madrid (and its surroundings), light pollution reaches 8-9 on the Bortle scale. That is, it is the worst degree of light pollution, preventing us from seeing almost everything except the brightest objects.
However, in the deer (a population of just 30 inhabitants in Cuenca, according to data from the INE of 2018), we find ourselves with a class 3 sky. Therefore, the observation conditions will be much better.
Naturally, it is not necessary to go hundreds of kilometers from our home, but we can look around us for a place with the least polluted sky possible. It will allow us to observe many more objects in the sky.
The best times to see the Delta Aquarids 2022
The peak of activity of the Delta Aquarids is expected to occur towards midday of July 30 in Spain. Therefore, the best hours of observation will be the hours before sunrise. Around 04:00 in the morning the best conditions will be given.
The radiant, the point from which shooting stars will appear to come, will be in the constellation Aquarius. The higher it is in the sky, the more meteors we can expect to see in the sky.
You have to remember, however, that it is best to observe the rest of the sky. Although the radiant is the point from which meteors appear to come, that is not where they originate. They can appear anywhere in the sky.
In addition, it is advisable to reach place of observation a half an hour earlier of the moment in which we want to start observing. In this way, our eyes will have enough time to adapt to the darkness and thus see more meteors.
The larger the region of the sky that we can see, the better, because we will have an easier time seeing meteors. It is possible that we will also see some meteor from other meteor showers (of very little activity) that are active on these dates.
Ultimately, the Delta Aquarids they will be one good excuse to observe the sky in 2022. The Perseids will continue to be a great attraction, but the observing conditions will not be the best this year compared to others.