Meteor shower from Halley's comet to peak Tuesday night

James Marshall
May 5, 2020

Trees and buildings will block some of the skies from view, limiting the number of meteors you'll be able to see.

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. The Eta Aquariid meteor shower is happing these next few nights.

As the famous comet races around the Sun, its rocky body crumbles under the star's intense heat. The bits that fall off are then left drifting in the space rock's trail.

The next shower you might be able to see is known as the Eta Aquariids, remnants from Halley's comet. These particular meteors are called Aquarids because they radiate outward from the constellation Aquarius. But the meteors will be raining down most of the week, so you may have more luck catching a glimpse during the slightly darker mornings on either side of the peak.

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.

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.

But Aquarius will not rise above the eastern horizon until the wee morning hours.

Watching the meteor shower? Well you can thank (or not thank) the moon for filling our skies with light.

The Full Moon will peak on Thursday, May 7, and will be very bright all week.

May is the best spring month to view meteor activity for those in the northern hemisphere, according to the American Meteor Society.

But make sure you keep in mind social distancing and shelter in place restrictions in your area - backyard, balcony or rooftop viewing can be just as rewarding. "Not many people in the world have seen it".

The particles may only be about the size of a grain of sand, but Brown says the speed they travel as they hit the Earth's atmosphere - about 60km per second - means they "burn up quite spectacularly and produce a nice shooting star".

Do not forget to dress appropriately if you watch the shower from your backyard.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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