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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Get ready to witness meteor shower on May 6

Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 04, 2014
First Published: 20:08 IST(4/5/2014) | Last Updated: 20:18 IST(4/5/2014)

For star gazers the next few days will be a treat as the Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this week, with the best viewing in the pre-dawn hours of May 6.

This year's show is set to peak in the pre-dawn hours of May 6, though there could be plenty to see on May 5 and 7 as well. As per the report of International Meteor Organization (IMO) on May 6, the  shower will be at peak nearly 55 meteors per hour are expected to be seen from dark skies.

Eta Aquarids Meteor shower are caused by flakes of dust left over by Comet Halley,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 and  in  October the Orionids. Both are caused by Halley's Comet when its debris enters earth atmosphere zipping across the sky while it disintegrates.
 
The shower is named after a star called Eta Aquarii in the constellation Aquarius.
 
"Those interested should get one hour before sunrise on May 6 and  look above towards East direction and South East direction to spot  bright streaks of light zipping across the sky. At this time people can also see can see  Venus in East and  Saturn in West appearing  as non twinkling objects,"  Raghunandan Kumar director & founder secretary of Planetary Society, India told HT.


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