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BAA Observing calendar

α-Cygnid meteor shower

Saturday, 2018, July 21 - 01:00

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The α–Cygnid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 21 July 2018. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from Jul to Aug.

The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location is around 5 per hour (ZHR). The Moon will be 8 days old at the time of peak activity, and so will present significant interference in the early evening sky.

The radiant of the α–Cygnid meteor shower is at around right ascension 19h50m, declination +48°, as shown by the green cross on the planetarium above. At midnight, it appears 79° above your eastern horizon from London (click to change). All of the meteors will appear to be travelling directly outward from this point, as indicated by the white lines drawn above.

To see the most meteors, the best place to look is not directly at the radiant itself, but at any dark patch of sky which is around 30–40° away from it. It is at a distance of around this distance from the radiant that meteors will show reasonably long trails without being too spread out.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of