The Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend—Here's How to See It

Alpha Capricornids/iStock via Getty Images
Alpha Capricornids/iStock via Getty Images

We're officially in the middle of meteor shower season. The Perseids and Alpha Capricornids are currently active, and early this week, a fireball meteor was visible streaking across the night sky over New England. On Sunday, July 28, the light show will continue: That night, the Delta Aquariids will reach their peak, and an "old moon" will make it one of the best meteor showers of the summer, Travel + Leisure reports.

The Delta Aquariids become visible starting July 12 and last through August 23. They're the result of a trail of space dust that a comet called 96P/Machholz leaves behind as it circles the Sun. Every year, the Earth passes through this debris field, producing shooting stars as numerous as 20 per hour moving up to 25 miles per second at the shower's peak.

The Delta Aquariids are often overshadowed by the Perseids, a much more reliable meteor shower that's active around the same time of year. But this summer, the Delta Aquariids are the spectacle to catch. The peak of the Perseids coincides with a full moon, which means many meteors that would otherwise be visible will be washed out. The peak of the Delta Aquariids, on the other hand, falls on a late rising moon, or old moon. Sunday is just a few days away from the new moon on August 1, so skies will be especially dim that night, making for great viewing conditions for the meteor shower.

To increase your chances of spotting shooting stars, wait until around midnight, when skies are darkest, on late Sunday night/early Monday morning to look up. Meteors will come from the south, around the direction of the constellation Aquarius. As is the case with any celestial event, areas with low light pollution will offer the best views.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Keep Your Cat Busy With a Board Game That Doubles as a Scratch Pad

Cheerble
Cheerble

No matter how much you love playing with your cat, waving a feather toy in front of its face can get monotonous after a while (for the both of you). To shake up playtime, the Cheerble three-in-one board game looks to provide your feline housemate with hours of hands-free entertainment.

Cheerble's board game, which is currently raising money on Kickstarter, is designed to keep even the most restless cats stimulated. The first component of the game is the electronic Cheerble ball, which rolls on its own when your cat touches it with their paw or nose—no remote control required. And on days when your cat is especially energetic, you can adjust the ball's settings to roll and bounce in a way that matches their stamina.

Cheerable cat toy on Kickstarter.
Cheerble

The Cheerble balls are meant to pair with the Cheerble game board, which consists of a box that has plenty of room for balls to roll around. The board is also covered on one side with a platform that has holes big enough for your cat to fit their paws through, so they can hunt the balls like a game of Whack-a-Mole. And if your cat ever loses interest in chasing the ball, the board also includes a built-in scratch pad and fluffy wand toy to slap around. A simplified version of the board game includes the scratch pad without the wand or hole maze, so you can tailor your purchase for your cat's interests.

Cheerble cat board game.
Cheerble

Since launching its campaign on Kickstarter on April 23, Cheerble has raised over $128,000, already blowing past its initial goal of $6416. You can back the Kickstarter today to claim a Cheerble product, with $32 getting you a ball and $58 getting you the board game. You can make your pledge here, with shipping estimated for July 2020.

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Where to Watch SpaceX’s Historic Astronaut Launch Live

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

SpaceX will make history today when it launches its first crewed spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 4:33 p.m. EDT. Powered by a Falcon 9 rocket, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will transport NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station, marking the company's first-ever crewed mission and the first crewed launch from the U.S. since 2011. If you want to watch the momentous event from home, there are plenty of ways to stream it live online.

Both SpaceX and NASA will be hosting livestreams of the May 27 launch. NASA's webcast kicks off at 12:15 p.m. EDT today with live looks at the Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center. The feed will continue streaming until late in the morning of Thursday, May 28, when the spacecraft is set to dock at the International Space Station. You can catch the coverage on NASA's website, its social media channels, or on the NASA TV channel through cable or satellite. SpaceX's stream also starts at 12:15 p.m. EDT, and it will be broadcast on the company's YouTube channel. (You can watch the video below).

Several television networks will be covering the event, with ABC and National Geographic airing "Launch America: Mission to Space Live" at 3 p.m., and Discovery and the Science Channel showing "Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space" at 2 p.m. If you're looking for more online streaming options, the American Museum of Natural History and Intrepid Museum in New York City will be hosting live events to celebrate the launch this afternoon on YouTube.

The launch has been scheduled down to the minute, but SpaceX still has time to change that depending on the weather. If today's launch doesn't happen according to plan, there are windows on May 30 and May 31 set aside for second attempts.

[h/t TechCrunch]