How to Watch Tonight's Meteor Shower


An Eta Aquarids meteor streaks over northern Georgia on 29 April

Halley's comet (1P/Halley) is a short-period comet that is visible to the naked eye every 75-76 years.

This week, the Eta Aquariid meteor shower, which occurs annually between April 19 and May 28, brightens our skies and is one of the highlights of the year for seasoned sky watchers.

A meteor shower made of debris from Halley's Comet will peak this week, according to news outlets.

"When that wake of debris intersects with the orbit of the Earth we experience meteor showers, as the particles fall towards the Earth and heat up upon entering the atmosphere, leaving bright streaks in the sky as they vaporise or break apart".

"They often come in clumps".

"In a dark location, you can expect up to 50 shooting stars per hour", he said.

You will see slightly more meteors per hour the further west you live because the radiant point is higher in the sky before sunrise.

"This is a good one to see from the southern hemisphere, but you'll need to be up in the early morning hours", says Prof Michael Brown, an astrophysicist at Monash University in Melbourne.

The shower favours southern latitudes, where stargazers will be treated to front row seats.

Stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere are less fortunate because the shower's radiant features low on the horizon. The shower's name comes from the star from which they appear to come Eta Aquarii, which is part of the Aquarius constellation.

Viewed from the United Kingdom, the constellation will be low on the eastern horizon at about 3am on Wednesday.

NASA said: "The Northern Hemisphere has an hourly rate of only about 10 meteors".

"The night sky provides a myriad of lovely sights beyond just these two, and I encourage everyone to attempt to become more familiar them and reconnect with the sky just above their heads", he said. But this week, the Southern Hemisphere gets its turn to see even more meteors light up the sky.

First, a few things you need to know.

To view the Eta Aquarids, find an area well away from city or street lights.

The moon is also close to full, which means there could be some light.

"You just have to go out there and take pot luck, to be honest". "Get comfortable. Lay down on a blanket, or a reclining chair", Samuhel said. Lie back with your feet facing east and loop up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.

Horner says the best approach will be to get outside at about 4.15am and look roughly east and give your eyes about 15 minutes to adjust.

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