Early on the morning of Tuesday June 11, 2013, a very rare meteor shower — the Gamma Delphinids — may occur. The long dormant meteor shower hasn’t been particularly active in quite some time, but this year the prediction is that it may put on an incredible show — rivaling the best meteor showers of the year, such ad the Perseids and Geminids.
The reason for the rarity of the Gamma Delphinid meteor shower is that the dust trail that causes the meteor shower rarely crosses paths with the Earth. The Earth just narrowly misses that dust trail most years, but this year we are expected to pass right through it.
The meteor shower is a rather “new” one — being first “discovered” on June 10, 1930. That year the meteor shower put on a rather incredible show — even with a full moon the Gamma Delphinids averaged about 100 meteors an hour, with many of the meteors being reportedly as bright as the brightest stars in the sky. It didn’t last very long though, only for an hour or so.
As of now, the meteor shower is predicted to peak in the early morning hours of June 11th — with the peak occurring right around 4:28 am EDT, 1:28 am PDT, or 8:28 UT. The best places to watch will likely be in the Americas and in the Pacific.
The region of the sky that the meteors will appear to radiating out of will be the constellation of Delphinius — the dolphin. During the time of the meteor shower you should be able to spot the constellation in the southern portion of the sky (from the Northern Hemisphere).
And make sure to check out all of the other meteor showers of the year, some are going to be quite good — Meteor Showers 2013 Dates And Times — Perseids, Geminids, Draconids, Leonids, Orionids, Ursids, Etc
As always, when watching meteor showers there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
– Get comfortable. A good reclining chair, warm clothes and blankets, along with some hot cocoa or coffee, go a long way towards making the experience enjoyable.
– The farther away that you can get from city lights, the better.
– You’ll need to give your eyes time to adjust to the dark in order to spot many meteors. So keep your bright mobile devices turned off or with the screen dimmed really low.