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Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower on May 5 & 6

The Eta Aquarids are a light shower, usually producing about 10 meteors per hour at their peak. The shower's peak will occur on May 5 & 6, however viewing should be good on any morning from May 4 - 7. This year, a waxing gibbous moon will hide all but the brightest meteors. The radiant point for this shower will be in the constellation Aquarius. Best viewing is usually to the east after midnight.

Location of the Eta Aquarids
For Northern Hemisphere Observers

Location of the Eta Aquarids
For Southern Hemisphere Observers

The eta Aquarids are flakes of dust from Halley's Comet, which last visited Earth in 1986. Although the comet is now far away, beyond the orbit of Uranus, it left behind a stream of dust. Earth passes through the stream twice a year in May and October. In May we have the eta Aquarid meteor shower, in October the Orionids. Both are caused by Halley's Comet.

The eta Aquarids are named after a 4th-magnitude star in the constellation Aquarius. The star has nothing to do with the meteor shower except that, coincidentally, meteors appear to emerge from a point nearby. Eta Aquarii is 156 light years from Earth and 44 times more luminous than the Sun. Eta Aquarid meteoroids hit Earth's atmosphere traveling 66 km/s.

So, dont forget to look east before sunrise on May 5 & 6 (><)

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