Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this weekend

Katie Ramirez
May 6, 2019

According to the International Meteor Organization, the Eta Aquarids usually produce medium rates of 10 to 30 meteors every hour just before dawn. This is from the night of May 4 to the dawn of Sunday.

The origins of the Eta Aquarids can be traced back to debris and dust left behind by one of the most famous comets in recent times.

These meteors earned their unusual moniker Eta Aquarid because they appear to arrive from the Aquarius constellation. Although viewing conditions should be ideal, Bishop Museum Planetarium Supervisor Tony Smith says don't expect to see nonstop shooting stars.

Astronomers are urging people to get out of bed in the middle of the night for the Eta Aquarids, predicted to be one of the most phenomenal displays of its kind in years.

We've got a little meteor shower happening this weekend.

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The meteors spawn off of Halley's Comet.

The best viewing conditions on Saturday night are expected across the Pacific Northwest, central Rockies and along a region from MI to eastern Texas where cloud-free conditions will bring uninterrupted views of the meteor showers.

Physicist Clare Kenyon from the University of Melbourne told the ABC we could be in for as much as 50 meteors an hour at the shower's peak.

Take a blanket or chair with so you can view the spectacular show in comfort.

The last time it was visible from Earth was 1986, and it is next expected to pass by in 2061. According to the American Meteor Society, the further south your observing location on the globe, the longer your viewing window, but the meteors will also appear lower in the sky. Since this year's Eta Aquarids coincides with the new moon, the lack of moonlight will be beneficial, as dimmer meteors will become easier to spot. NASA said these meteors are fast and can leave glowing trains of incandescent bits which last for several seconds to minutes.

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