Look up! In a rare celestial event, two meteor showers are set to light up our skies on the same night

This is a special opportunity for stargazers to witness a truly dazzling sight

Liv Condous
Written by
Liv Condous
Lifestyle Writer
Perseid meteor shower
Photograph: NASA | Bill Ingalls via Wikimedia Commons

The mystique of rare celestial events never fails to excite, from dazzling comets to huge blue supermoons, Sydneysiders are always keen to know which cosmic phenomenon will be lighting up the skies above the Harbour City. If you share in this enthusiasm, then hold onto your hats, because an unusual occurrence is set to happen above our city very soon. The stars have aligned for two dazzling meteor showers to coincide, with both expected to simultaneously peak on one very special night. It's time to dig out your binoculars and telescopes! 

Tuesday, July 30 is the date to mark on your calendars for the double meteor shower event. The two annual celestial events in question are the Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids showers, which occupy the southern sky and are both most visible in the Southern Hemisphere – so we're in luck! With the combination of the two showers, you could see up to a whopping 30 meteors streaking across the sky per hour (providing the sky is totally clear). 

In order to spot this sparkly sight, it helps to have a little bit of astronomic know-how. Being able to locate various constellations and celestial bodies helps a lot, as these meteor showers will radiate from the Aquarius and Capricornus constellations. Fortunately, there are plenty of astrology resources online to help you with this.

Other tips to bear in mind for meteor-spotting are heading to your chosen stargazing spot in the early hours of the morning (around 2am-3am) and ensuring you wait long enough to give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness (about half an hour). And considering it is the depths of winter, bring plenty of warm layers and blankets! 

Happy stargazing!

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