Michigan's May Night Sky Includes A Meteor Shower & Super Moon

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 3, 2020

According to TimeAndDate, the Eta Aquarids will be visible in India and this year, the peak will occur on the night of May 5.

Astronomers say 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.

The Eta Aquariids are created by the debris that is left over by Halley's Comet and is an annual event each April and May.

They appear to be coming from the northeastern part of the Aquarius constellation, which contributes to the name of the shower.

At the peak, as many as 40 meteors per hour could be visible.

The Moon will be in its waxing gibbous phase during the peak of the shower but it will be below the horizon before dawn and shouldn't damper the viewing.

Furthermore, you also want to have a scan of the full sky, rather than just staring in the one direction.

Of course, the problem is that this meteor shower will be best viewed in the Southern Hemisphere, but there's still a chance for the rest of us in the north. Earth crosses the comet's orbital path each spring between April and May.

For those who aren't aware, a supermoon is when the moon appears bigger and brighter than it usually is.

Just as seen in case of other meteor showers, when Earth, along its orbit around the Sun, passes through the trail, the debris enter our atmosphere. You can find where to look in the night sky to observe the Eta Aquarids here.

Physicist Clare Kenyon from the University of Melbourne told the ABC the angle is ideal because it's above the horizon and has less of a chance hiding behind trees.

The Earth experiences a meteor shower when the Earth's orbit coincides with the comet's.

That's right, no binoculars or telescope required. Don't worry, we'll be sure to remind you about them all in due time!

"Most observers in the northern hemisphere have a two hour window prior to dawn to view these meteors", the Meteor Society said on its website.

The Eta Aquarids are not as brilliant as Perseids, the brightest meteor showers and they aren't even the most prolific meteor showers that originate from Halley's Comet.

It's good to catch this meteor shower as this is the last major one for now, and the next one won't happen until late July.

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