Skywatchers can expect a few exciting nights when the Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks this week. The meteor shower is expected to begin on Tuesday and last through Thursday, with most of the meteorites visible Wednesday before dawn, according to EarthSky.org.
The best viewing places are in the southern hemisphere – and all you have to do is find them.
What are Eta Aquarids?
The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks each year in early May as the Earth passes a path of debris from Halley’s Comet (1P / Halley) .The Orionids meteor shower in October is also originated from the comet.
The famous Halley Comet can be seen from Earth every 76 years, it was last seen in 1986 and will not be seen again until 2006. Fri 2018
Each year, when the Earth collides with a comet’s orbit, the vaporized debris flies into our atmosphere at speeds of up to 148,000 miles per hour, according to NASA, making the meteorite known for its speed. Fast-moving meteors often leave glowing “trains” behind them, creating beautiful “shooting stars”.
Under normal conditions, annual meteor showers typically produce about 30 meteors per hour. It was named after the halo or direction of origin, which seems to come from the constellation Aquarius.
Eta Aquarids is one of the best meteor showers of the year for the people of the Southern Hemisphere, as Aquarius is higher than the sky there. But it can also be seen in the northern hemisphere.
When and where to watch Eta Aquarids.
Showers are visible in both halves, with the best viewing taking place before dawn on Wednesday. Searching for bright spots is not essential to viewing, all you have to do is search.
It should be viewed in the Southern Hemisphere, but not necessarily from the Northern Hemisphere. The photographed stars often appear as “Earth grazers”: long meteorites that appear to be ejected from the Earth’s surface near the horizon.
To see a meteor shower it is advisable to avoid harsh urban lights and find open spaces. Lie on your back with feet facing east and head up.Allow your eyes to adjust for 30 minutes in a dark place.
Be patient and don’t forget the blanket!