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Eta Aquarius meteor shower: How and when to watch it

Eta Aquarius meteor shower: How and when to watch it

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The Eta Aquarid meteor shower created a stunning display over the Canary Islands on May 6, 2013.

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May begins with the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, and experts are predicting a better show than in recent years, according to American Meteor Society.

During the period when the meteor shower is expected to reach its peak – in the early morning hours of Sunday and Monday, according to the website EarthSky – The moon in the new moon phase will be only 6% illuminated. Experts suggest monitoring the sky between 2 and 5 a.m. local time.

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is often considered the best meteor shower of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, with sky watchers able to see 20 to 40 meteors every hour, or perhaps more, according to EarthSky. In the Northern Hemisphere, observers can expect to see between 10 and 20 meteors in the hours before dawn, according to the American “space” website. NASA.

The source of the Eta Aquarius meteor shower is Halley's Comet. Earth crosses the comet's orbital path each spring between April and May, causing tiny grains of rock and dust rained down by the comet to hit our planet's atmosphere and create a dazzling meteor display. This happens again in October, resulting in an orionid meteor shower.

Halley's Comet was last seen across Earth's night sky in 1986, and will swing by again in 2061 as it travels a 76-year orbit around the sun.

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The meteors appear to come from the northeastern part of the constellation Aquarius, which contributes to the shower's name.

The hourly rate of visible meteors is expected to be enhanced this year due to debris being moved by Jupiter closer to Earth, according to the American Meteor Society. This last happened in 2013, when interest rates were significantly boosted.

Astronomers expected higher rates of Eta Aquarius in 2023, but the full moon outshines the meteors, and scientists have been unable to verify whether the enhancement has occurred. But with no lunar interference in sight, the rate of visible meteors could double if enhancement occurs, according to the American Meteor Society.

If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive somewhere that's not full of city lights that might obstruct your vision.

Find an open area with a wide view of the sky. Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look up straight. Give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness – without looking at your phone – so that the meteors are easier to spot.

The American Meteor Society invites spectators to come along Share their observations of pigeonsThis will help astronomers determine whether there are more meteorites than expected.

“Eta Aquariids will provide a good opportunity to see the strongest activity from this source until the 2040s,” according to the American Meteor Society.
“We strongly encourage everyone with clear skies to observe during this time and share your observations. We wish you good luck and look forward to seeing your results!”

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Here are the remaining meteor showers we can expect in 2024.

Buckeyes in the southern delta: July 29-30

Alpha Capricorn: July 30-31

Perseids: August 11-12

The Dragons: October 7-8

Orionides: October 20-21

Southern supplies: November 4-5

Northern Supply: November 11-12

Leonids: November 17-18

Gemini: December 13-14

Ursids: December 21-22

Each month's full moon is associated with a specific name, according to Farmers Almanac. But the full moon has various names and meanings, according to Various indigenous tribes.

May 23: Venus Moon

June 21: Strawberry Moon

July 21: Pac Moon

August 19: Sturgeon Moon

September 17: Harvest Moon

October 17: Hunter's Moon

November 15: Beaver Moon

December 15: Cold Moon

Solar and lunar eclipse

An annular solar eclipse will occur in the sky on October 2 over parts of South America. This type of eclipse is similar to a total solar eclipse, except that the Moon is located at the farthest point in its orbit from the Earth, so it cannot completely block the Sun. Instead, an annular solar eclipse creates a “ring of fire” in the sky where the fiery sunlight surrounds the moon's shadow.

A partial lunar eclipse, when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon without being completely aligned, will appear over Europe and most parts of Asia, Africa, North America and South America between September 17 and 18.

Checks Location time and date To find out when each of these eclipses will appear.