The Eta Aquarids (a.k.a. Eta Aquarid) is the latest meteor shower that will be showing up in the night sky soon. Eta Aquarids meteor shower is remnants of Halley’s Comet, which grazes the Earth’s skies every 75 years. The last time the Halley’s Comet was seen was back in 1986, the next time will be in the year 2061.
When Does Eta Aquarids Start?
Every year the Eta Aquarids meteor shower is generally active between April 19 and May 28, 2020. The Eta Aquarids will reach its peak on the night of May 5 through the early morning of May 6. This will also be around the time that the full moon, “Super Flower Moon,” will be starting. The moon will reach full status on May 7.
However, the shower should be a good show on the nights between May 1 and May 3. On these nights, the sky will be darker giving people a better chance of seeing a shooting star. The radiant point of the Eta Aquarids will be in its constellation, Aquaris. Knowing where this constellation is in the sky is not necessary.
What Is Needed to View the Shower?
All one truly needs is open, dark skies that are free from artificial light, and to look southeast. For those who know where the constellation Aquaris is located in the sky, the Eta Aquarids meteor shower will look as if it is coming from Aquaris’s “Water Jar.” Of course, the alignment of the radiant point and the Eta Aquarii star is purely coincidental.
Late evening is the best time to see meteors in their true glory. The bigger ones will graze the skies, leaving long sparkling streaks. These are more common to see in the late hours of the night. The smaller comets are shorter streaks and can be seen more toward the early morning hours.
The Eta Aquarids will be more visible for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere. However, those that live in the Northern Hemisphere will be able to see some of the Eta Aquarids meteor showers. So, if people are looking for ways to entertain themselves during quarantine, what better way than to pull out a lawn chair/blanket and kick back watching the night sky?
By Sheena Robertson
Edited by Jeanette Vietti
EarthSky: All you need to know: Eta Aquariid meteors
Time and date: Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower 2020
Forbes: Shooting Stars From Halley’s Comet Will Next Week Battle A ‘Super Flower Moon’
Pennlive: Bits of Halley’s Comet about to blaze across our night sky
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of David Kingham’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License