In the northern hemisphere, Native American tribes called this the Buck Moon because the male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Thunder Moon and the Hay Moon.
In the southern hemisphere, this is the Full Winter Moon. The build up to winter has passed and the cold has settled in. We might also call it the Full Ice Moon or the Full Snow Moon.
BUMMER! The nearly full moon will block all but the brightest meteors. But if you are patient, you should still be able to catch a few of the more exciting ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The shower runs annually from July 12 to August 23. It peaks this year on the night of July 28 and morning of July 29.
The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. Saturn will appear brightest in 2021 during the last days of July and the first days of August. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. A medium-sized or larger telescope or a good pair of binoculars or a spotting scope will allow you to see Saturn’s rings and a few of its brightest moons.
A sliver of a waxing moon should make for a good show this year. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight.
The Perseids is one of the busiest meteor showers, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. These particular meteors result from the Earth passing through the litter left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, first discovered in 1862.
For a while there, astronomers calculated that the Swift-Tuttle would collide with the Earth on my Mom’s birthday in 2126. Such an impact would have spoiled any posthumous celebrations since the comet is the largest near-Earth object that periodically goes through our sky. If Swift-Tuttle ever does hit the Earth, its 60 km/s impact will be about 27 times more energetic than the astroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs.
The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 14 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13.
Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.