Annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower to be visible in sky over coming days
This year will have a few good meteor showers for you to view!
This week, it’s time to get set for the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower that is active between April 19 and May 28, with a peak number of meteors expected just before dawn on May 5-6.
The best way to view this event is to look to the southeast sky about two hours before dawn but meteor showers can be like fishing — sometimes you catch a lot and sometimes you don’t.
The shower can produce upwards of 20 meteors per hour at the peak.
The meteors in this shower are from one of the most famous of all comets: Halley’s Comet.
Last seen by people on Earth in 1910, the comet will return to Earth in the year 2062.
It may be a few years away, but astronomers have made a prediction with the comet for 2017. Some say there may be a short outburst of meteors from a dust plume that the comet ejected back in the year 616.
That plume may spark up some additional meteors for a short time, though an exact time frame is unknown. If you want to try to catch a glimpse, you should look in the early morning to the southeast sky before dawn.
These particles of comet dust are traveling well over 150,000 mph and glow some 60 miles above the Earth.
The rates of meteors will be much higher for those in the southern hemisphere, as Aquarius is a constellation which favors observers in that part of the world.
If you miss this meteor shower, the October Orionids are also brought to you by Halley’s Comet, too!
May skies offer something for everyone! Get you very own Dr. Sky May star chart.