Look up! The Delta Aquariid meteor shower will light up the night sky Sunday night

The nights may be short, but with the weather warm it's a great time to check out a few meteors.

The Delta Aquariid meteor shower peaks Sunday night, July 28. Though it's an average meteor shower compared to others throughout the year, you can still see up to 20 meteors per hour.

The best time to look up is between midnight and just before dawn. Gaze toward the southern sky for the best viewing.

"Find an open sky away from artificial lights, lie down on a reclining lawn chair and look upward," recommends EarthSky.org.

This annual meteor shower is best for observers in the Southern Hemisphere, along with those in the more southerly regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

The Delta Aquariid meteor shower takes its name from Delta Aquarii, a star in the constellation Aquarius, according to Sky and Telescope. The meteors fan out across the sky, but all appear to streak away from a point in central Aquarius called the radiant.

Delta Aquariid meteors are believed to come from the comet 96P Machholz, which was discovered in 1986.

If you can't get outside Sunday night, don't fret: "The long and rambling Delta Aquariid shower is officially active from about July 12 to Aug. 23 each year," according to EarthSky.

Meteor showers are created when Earth crosses the orbital path of a comet. Bits of dust and debris from the remnants of the comet light up the sky when they enter and burn up in our atmosphere.

This event is just a warm-up act for one of the main meteor showers of the year; the Perseids, which peak Aug. 11, 12 and 13, and are known as the best summer meteor shower, with 50 or more meteors per hour.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Delta Aquariid meteor shower will light up the night sky on Sunday

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