Halley's Comet Bringing Meteor Shower To The Night Sky Next Week

James Marshall
May 4, 2020

What are the Eta Aquarids?

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The improved air quality because of coronavirus lockdowns could also improve visibility for the meteor shower, The Weather Channel reported.

The famous Halley's Comet is visible from Earth about every 76 years.

A meteor shower made of debris from Halley's Comet will peak this week, according to news outlets.

Halley's Comet won't swing by Earth again until 2061, but you could see pieces of it this week.

As per the NASA website, Eta Aquarid meteors are known for their speed travelling at the speed of around 148,000 mph (66 km/s) into the Earth's atmosphere and are often seen as "earthgrazers", that are long meteors that appear to skim the surface of the Earth at the horizon in the Northern Hemisphere. It's named for its radiant, or direction of origin, which appears to come from the constellation Aquarius.

Under normal conditions, the annual meteor shower typically produces about 30 meteors per hour.

While the Eta Aquariids is active from late April to near the end of May, Ms de Sales Marques says the best time to see it will be on the night of May 5-6 between midnight and sunrise, when the shower will be at its peak.

"Our best chance will be in the hours just before dawn, facing the eastern sky".

In the mid-May (May 12-13), the Earth will also have a close shave as the newly discovered comet SWAN will be at a distance of 83.3 million kilometers from our planet and is expected to outshine most of the stars in the sky and is likely to be visible to the naked eye in the last week of the month. Locating the radiant point is not necessary for viewing - all you need to do is look up.

"If you are in a city, getting away from nearby lights and into a darker area like a nearby oval will allow you to see more shooting stars".

Be patient, and don't forget a blanket!

"The moon will be waxing gibbous throughout the night, so the sky won't be as dark as one could hope, adding to the challenge". On May 7, the "Super Flower Moon" arrives just in time for the spring flowers to bloom.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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