Meteor Showers and Scorpius

The Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower is active from July 12 to Aug. 23. It peaks on July 30. This is a southern meteor shower. So, in the north they will rise only about 30 degrees, and only show about 10. Since we live in Southern Colorado, they will rise a little higher and give us more meteors per hour.

Since this goes on for so long, we have a lot of time to look for them. The best time is actually in the morning 2-3 hours before dawn. They will be in the south along with Jupiter and Saturn.

Mercury is visible in the morning. It rises about 85 minutes before the Sun, and it stands about 3.5 degrees high in the east. Unfortunately, if you have mountains in the east, you won't see it. On July 12, it brightens and reaches its brightest on the 19th, but by then it's closer to the Sun.

In the evening when you look low in the South, you'll see Scorpius low in the sky. It's a beautiful constellation that's visible June, July and August. The left bottom of it is a rounded loop lying on its side and is his legs. The top right of it is a triangle also lying on its side and is his head. It sits in front of the Milky Way and is highly visible.

It's a constellation that represents a scorpion sent by the goddess to kill Orion. Fortunately, Orion sets before this constellation rises. When the sky gets dark, look low in the South. It's highly visible. It only rises about 20 degrees high and has 17 stars.

Its brightest star is Anteres, and is his heart. Anteres is a red super giant star that is hundreds of times larger than our Sun, and 9,000 times brighter. That's an amazing star! It's 600 light years from us. Just above it is the globular cluster M4. It's 7,000 LY away. You'll most likely need binoculars to see it.

The Globular Cluster M6 is just above his tail and is visible to the naked eye. Like the constellation, it's in the Milky Way. Although it's highly visible, with binoculars you'll see dozens of its stars. It's called the Butterfly Cluster and is 2,000 LY away.


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