SouthCoast Stargazers Have a Lot to See This July
Get your telescopes ready, because July is full of celestial events sure to give you a sleepless night or two. From the year's biggest full moon to two overlapping meteor showers, it's your best chance this summer to catch a King Tide and a shooting star.
Last month's Strawberry super moon was a sight to be seen on the SouthCoast, but July's full moon will actually be the biggest of the entire year and could cause some serious flooding.
The moon's gravitational pull is what makes our oceans rise and fall, but the different phases of the moon can make things rise extra-high or fall super-low. When July's Full Buck Moon appears on Wednesday, July 13, tides will be at epic levels.
In fact, the biggest full moon of the year is going to bring 'King Tides' all across the waterfront. According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), the tides Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be "higher-than-normal high tides" and could bring some photo-worthy moments.
They put out the word on Facebook that photogs should plan to visit coastal areas Monday, July 11, around 6:35 p.m.; Tuesday, July 12 around 7:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, July 13, around 8:25 p.m. to capture these 'King Tide' affects on our area. They even encourage you to share your pictures with them to help "planners improve coastal resilience."
In addition to the mega moon, the end of July will bring something pretty special, too.
On July 28-29, the Delta Aquarids meteor shower will reach its maximum. Particles from the Marsden and Kracht comets will streak across the sky at a peak rate of 15-20 meteors per hour.
Interestingly, the Delta Aquarids are peaking around the same time as the Alpha Capricornid meteor shower this year, so the early morning of July 29 means the potential to see two meteor showers in one.
Plus, with the new moon making the night sky extra-dark, this is literally your best chance of the summer to see a shooting star. You have to wake up pretty early (or stay up extra late) to make it happen, however. Both meteor showers are at their highest in the sky around 2 a.m., getting lower and lower closer to dawn.
If you happen to be a SouthCoast stargazer this is your month. But if your house floods fairly easily, then July might not be so great for you.