Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower from Halley's Comet peaks this weekend

Terry Joseph
May 6, 2017

"While it's always best to find a nice park or a large open space for best viewing of a meteor shower, you can go out to our front or back yard and still get a good view", Perth Observatory says.

An NBC4 viewer sent us dashcam video from the eastbound 10 Freeway near Mid-City/downtown Los Angeles. Observers can expect 30 to 60 meteors per hour.

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower contains the remnants of the famous Halley comet that appears every 75 years. You're in luck, we have all the details on when and where to catch the show.

The Eta Aquarids have a most interesting lineage.

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The Eta Aquariid meteor shower was named for its apparent source, which is the Eta Aquarii, a star found in the Aquarius constellation.

"Later sunrise means more dark time to watch meteors". All the meteors Tupman sighted appeared to emanate from the constellation of Aquarius. The good news is you don't need special equipment to enjoy the meteor shower, but you must give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness to spot meteors.

When is the meteor shower? Under the most favorable conditions, a dozen or more meteors per hour can be seen from the Eta Aquarid swarm. "Since they are on the outbound leg of their orbits, these meteors arrive mainly in daylight; thus the nighttime observation interval is short and occurs just before dawn". The longer nights in the Southern Hemisphere allows the radiant to rise higher in their sky.

For most, perhaps the best hope for seeing the Eta Aquarids is if you chanced to catch a glimpse of a meteor as it grazed our atmosphere horizontally - much the same way as a flat rock can be made to skim across the top of a lake or pond. "These are swift meteors that produce a high percentage of persistent trains, but few fireballs". "A few of the brightest ones may shine through, and if you are looking for a shooting star to make a wish on, you might just get one".

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