The Eta Aquariid meteor shower will reach its peak this week, on May 5 and 6 according to Bill Cooke. He is the head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. The meteor showers began on April 19 and will continue until May 28. Stargazers could see as many as 30 meteors in an hour.
The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower Will Peak On May 5 And 6
The meteors come from Eta Aquarii, which is in the constellation of Aquarius and is one of the brightest stars out there. This meteor shower is caused by dust grains left behind by Halley’s Comet. Such grains are tiny, being no more than a millimeter thick.
When these enter the Earth’s atmosphere, the grains burn up and create the streaks of light that people can see in the sky. The Eta Aquariid meteors aren’t as numerous as the Perseid showers that appear every August, but they are at least as bright.
The Eta Aquariid meteor showers will hit their peak around dawn on May 5 and 6. By that time, the moon will have already set. As such, its light will not impede on the people’s ability to see the meteors.
Stargazers in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres will be able to see the meteor showers. However, those living in the Southern hemisphere will enjoy a particularly good view, for they will be able to face north and see the shower’s radiant.
According to Cooke, the best way to watch the meteor shower is to lie on one’s back and look up. Doing so will provide the widest field of vision and prevent the stargazer from developing a crick in their neck.
Watching the shower is easy, providing you have a dark sky and an unobstructed view. Dress warmly, for the pre-dawn hours can be cool. Sky gazers should allot at least an hour for the show and be prepared for some minutes of seeing nothing. Specialists point out that the eye first has to get used to the nighttime dark. Only then will it be able to spot and enjoy the meteor spectacle.
Image Source: Flickr
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