The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower Can Be Best Seen This Week

Posted May 06, 2017

People living on the equator will have the best views of the meteor shower, so astronomy enthusiasts in the northern Hemisphere will need to look south.

An NBC4 viewer sent us dashcam video from the eastbound 10 Freeway near Mid-City/downtown Los Angeles.

To see it, EarthSky magazine advises you should head out early in the morning - and give your eyes time to get used to the dark. The Eta Aquarids meteor shower can be seen each year as the Earth travels through the debris left behind by the Halley's comet.

Usually visible to the human eye annually between April 19 and May 20, this year, the meteor shower started being visible on April 2o and will still be seen up until May 28.

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The Eta Aquariid meteor shower was named for its apparent source, which is the Eta Aquarii, a star found in the Aquarius constellation.

Robert Lunsford of the International Meteor Organisation says, 'There is no sharp peak for this shower, but rather a plateau of good rates that last approximately one week centered on May 6'. All the meteors Tupman sighted appeared to emanate from the constellation of Aquarius.

"While a low radiant means fewer meteors, there's an up side".

The latest meteor shower is about to peak. When the Earth interacts with that rubble river, those comet bits race through our atmosphere at high speeds to produce the effect of "shooting stars".

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"But it's not. The reason it's not is that sunrise comes later to the Southern Hemisphere (where it's autumn in May) and earlier to the Northern Hemisphere (where it's spring in May)". Sometimes you catch a good number of them and sometimes you don't.

The cool part is that while the Eta Aquarid meteor shower doesn't produce as many meteors as the Perseid or Geminid showers, these ones are particularly bright and easy to spot.

If you're lucky and the light conditions are right, you should be able to spot up to 30 shooting stars in an hour.

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