After a somewhat disappointing show of meteor showers in 2016, this year looks to be a lot more eventful. From spring to winter, there will be a healthy amount of meteor showers to keep the most enthusiastic observer excited. Make sure to position yourself in a dark area, away form streetlights, so you can get the best view of these showers and enjoy the night sky. Get ready to see some of the best upcoming meteor showers of 2020.
Watch These 6 Meteor Showers In 2020 On Your Vacation
1. Southern Delta Aquariids, Piscis Austinids, and Alpha Capricornids
If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll be delighted by these three meteor showers. In early-July to mid-August, experience the showers best during the wee hours of the night, well after midnight. Of this cluster of meteor showers, the Southern Delta Aquariids will be the most active, with a peak lasting about five days. The Alpha Capricornids will be slower and less active but more impressive, as they have a reputation for producing fireball showers.
During this fall meteor shower, expect to see a somewhat weaker shower than Eta Aquariids, but still a worthwhile experience since you can catch this one earlier. The Orionid radiant will be visible by midnight and may last several hours before the sky starts to brighten. This shower is usually a prolonged event and good rates can be seen throughout October and into early November. This year, there will be no moonlight to contend with so viewers will get to enjoy a great show.
For the Northern Hemisphere, this might just be the best meteor shower of the year. The showers tend to strengthen throughout the night, so be prepared to spend some time watching this one on August 12th into August 13th. A waning gibbous moon will make it a bit more challenging to view the Perseids, but the shower usually leaves persistent trains and will feature bright and fast meteors. Get ready to monitor this meteor shower closely!
Don’t blink or you might miss this meteor shower that will take place before dawn on November 17th or 18th. This shower radiates from the Leo the Lion constellation and has been known to produce some of the greatest meteor storms in history. One record of this particular meteor shower shows rates as high as thousands of meteors per minute! This year, the meteor shower is expected to be pretty spectacular, as there will be no moon to impede viewing of it.
Active between April 16th and 25th, the Lyrids are generally a consistent and active meteor shower. They have the longest recorded history of any meteor shower, and although it’s not supposed to be a particularly spectacular outburst, it’s still a meteor shower worth watching. During their peak, you can expect to see between 15 and 20 meteors per hour. Regardless of which side of the world you’re on, you’ll be able to see the Lyrids’ shooting stars, as they can be observed from either hemisphere. However, they’re best observed from northern latitudes. If you’re in the U.S., the Lyriad is best seen just before sunrise. So set your alarm and wake up to a beautiful meteor shower.
6. Eta Aquariids
One of the best views of this meteor shower will be in the Southern Hemisphere between April 19th and May 28th. Rates will climb as high as 40 or 50 meteors per hour, but don’t expect to see them before 1 a.m. The Eta Aquariids are known for being the stronger of the two annual showers that occur when Earth passes through some debris from Halley’s Comet. Brave the pre-dawn hours and wake up early to get a great glimpse of the Eta Aquariids’ incredible showers before the sun rises.
This article was written by Julianne Aiello.