Halley's Comet will spark Eta Aquarids meteor shower late Monday

James Marshall
July 2, 2020

For the next few days people will still have a good chance to see meteors, he said.

According to astrologists, the southern hemisphere is an ideal viewing point as up to 40 meteors can be spotted every hour at their peak compared to only ten in the northern hemisphere. The more sky that you can take in and see, the more meteors you will spot.

Avid star gazers in the southern hemisphere will have a front row seat to the stunning Eta Aquariid meteor shower lighting up the sky tonight.

"You'll see shooting stars or meteors appearing to fly outwards from Aquarius", the observatory said on Twitter.

MetService forecaster Sonja Farmer said it will be "pot luck" if skies clear in time for the shower.

Halley's Comet is visible from Earth about every 76 years. The Orionids meteor shower in October also originates from this comet.

A supermoon is actually known as a perigee full moon by astronomers. "When the Earth runs into that dust, we get meteor showers like the one we'll get tomorrow morning". In Wellington, the overnight forecast is mainly cloudy with rain, the same went for Auckland and Christchurch.

If you don't know how to find Aquarius, there are phone apps that can help you find the way. "If you've ever seen fireworks shooting up from the ground, imagine it going the other way and burning out way up high above our heads".

The point in the sky where the Eta Aquariids appear to emerge from is in the direction of the constellation Aquarius. Stargazers will also be able to see three of the solar system's brightest planets - Venus, Mars and Saturn - in the same region of sky as the shower and those in darker parts of Victoria may even be able to see the wispy haze of the Milky Way.

The water jar is in the southern part of the constellation for those in the Southern Hemisphere, and the northern part for those in the Northern Hemisphere.

Origin of Eta Aquariids as seen from Sydney at 4 am on May 6.

Essentially, the darker the sky, the more viewers will see, and during the pre-dawn hours there is the least amount of light from the moon to obstruct the show. No telescopes or binoculars are needed.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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