How To Watch Tonight's Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 6, 2020

Early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, the Eta Aquarids meteor shower will give stargazers a show worth watching, with about 10 meteors per hour expected to be visible at its peak in the Northern Hemisphere.

Halley's Comet last passed Earth in 1986. The comet itself formed at the same time as the solar system, about 4,500m years ago.

Horner says it takes the Earth about a month to go through the path of the dust trail, but early on Wednesday we will travel through the densest part.

Usually, when a meteor shower lights up the sky, we'd tell city-dwellers to get as far away from light pollution as possible to get the best view.

If you're a slightly savvier stargazer, look for Aquarius in the night sky.

The point in the sky where the Eta Aquariids appear to emerge from is in the direction of the constellation Aquarius. The light it does cast will "wash out" the dimmest meteors from the shower, though.

If the beginning of 2020 has had you looking forward to the future more than usual, we don't blame you given the current state of affairs. "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".

"After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors".

Astronomy Live Stream also presents nightly views of the sky over Colorado.

A meteor shower is expected this Cinco de Mayo. However, observers can increase their chances of seeing meteors by viewing when the moon is low in the sky before the first light of dawn arrives.

All year long, as Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through streams of cosmic debris - trails of rocks and ice left behind by comets.

Clouds could also spoil the meteor shower over the Pacific Northwest as a storm moves into the region.

The Eta Aquariids have been known to produce up to 50 shooting stars an hour.

These pieces enter the Earth's atmosphere and burn up.

That's the reason they appear on certain dates and return annually - as these comets are on an orbit and leave debris in certain parts of space. They can also result in a bonus.

Unlike other annual meteor displays whose history can be traced back for hundreds or thousands of years, the Eta Aquariids were not "officially" discovered until the late 19th century, when Lieutenant Colonel G.L. Tupman sighted 15 meteors while sailing in the Mediterranean Sea in 1870.

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