Everything You Need to Know About This Year's Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower

James Marshall
May 5, 2020

The best chance to see the shower is just before dawn - between 2 and 4 a.m. central time (1-3 Mountain time) - when there is least amount of light from the moon to obstruct the view.

Remnants from Halley's comet circle the solar system and encounter Earth twice each year in the form of meteors, Eta Aquarids in May and the Orionids in October. So this month's full moon is called the Flower Moon because of the plethora of flowers that bloom in May.

According to astronomer experts on meteors shower observations, Eta Aquarid meteor shower is one of an important meteors showers seen from earth, where the average rate of Eta Aquarid showers flow will be 50 Eta Aquarid meteors per hour.

Meteors are usually only visible for one or two seconds - "Anyone watching definitely has to keep their eyes on the sky!"

Astronomers said that to watch the shower you should "get a comfy chair" and be prepared to sit outside for hours - but you won't need binoculars or a telescope.

"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". Although the comet has a periodic return, Earth crosses its path every year to produce the Eta Aquarids.

"You'll know you've spied an Eta Aquarid meteor if you trace that glowing streak backwards and it appears to come from the same point as other meteors". Its last sighting was in 1986, putting its next expected sighting in 2061.

But Horner said the dust from Halley hitting the Earth now is likely not from the comet's last venture here, but from a fly-by thousands of years ago.

"I have seen the comet three times - it's a bit brighter than anticipated", said Stoitsis.

This means that those living in Western Australia will see slightly more meteors than people living in similar latitudes on the east coast.

The May 7 moonrise occurs at around 5.13pm (AEST) in Sydney, and seeing as though the moon appears closer on the horizon, gazing around this time should make for some spectacular viewing.

"Don't step outside and stand there and expect to see meteor activity", he says.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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