Spring's last meteor shower peaking
The Eta Aquarids peak during the predawn hours of May 5th and 6th; that’s this Thursday and Friday. This shower favors the Southern Hemisphere because the radiant point of its meteors -- the constellation Aquarius -- is higher in the night sky south of the equator. A total of 10 to 20 meteors will be visible each hour between roughly 2 a. These meteors grace our night skies every year as Earth passes through debris left behind by Halley’s Comet.
The Eta Aquarids are known for their speed, traveling at a whopping 148,000 mph according to NASA. This fast rate of speed allows them to sometimes leave behind “trains,” or incandescent bits of debris that trail behind the meteor itself. With the waxing crescent moon setting in the evening this week, there won’t be any moonlight to wash out this shower. Thursday morning will feature the best chance of seeing the Eta Aquarids zip across the predawn sky.
If you do head out, be sure to head away from city centers and light pollution. The Eta Aquarids continue to zip across our sky through the end of May, but the rate declines each day.
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