The Delta Aquarid meteor shower is active as of this weekend. There are plenty of chances to get a peak at this meteor shower, which will remain active until August 23. However, the peak viewing time for the shower will be on Tuesday, so be sure to get to one of the great stargazing spots on Long Island to check it out.
The new moon was on Saturday, the dark sky gives the best chance to view the meteor shower. When the moon returns, visibility will be down but you will still have the chance to see these shooting stars until around August 23, according to EarthSky.org.
This is not the only meteor shower that you can view this summer. In fact, another shower will be visible at the same time in August. The even more famous Perseid meteor shower will overlap with the Delta Aquarid, with peak times occurring August 11, 12 and 13.
These meteor showers occur when the Earth crosses paths with the orbital path of a comet. As the comets get closer to the sun, they shed debris that fall towards Earth and burn up in the atmosphere. The burning debris are what we see as shooting stars.
It is not known with certainty which comet causes the Delta Aquarid meteor shower, but it is believed by some to be caused by the Comet 96P Machholz, which was discovered in 1986.
So when should you check out the upcoming shower? It is not know with certainty when the exact best time will be, however July 29 should be your best bet, between the hours of midnight and dawn. Of course, clouds could get in the way, but if not the shower will be visible across the entire Earth, assuming you are in a dark area and far away from artificial lights.