Eta Aquariids Meteor shower peaks this weekend: When and how to watch worldwide - Hindustan Times
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Eta Aquariids Meteor shower peaks this weekend: When and how to watch worldwide

ByAditi Srivastava
May 06, 2024 10:55 AM IST

NASA announces peak of Eta Aquariids Meteor Shower on May 5-6 with up to one meteor per minute.

Forget Netflix and chill—this weekend's entertainment is written in the stars! Calling all stargazers: NASA has an exciting update on the Eta Aquariids Meteor Shower, offering a chance to witness its cosmic light show in all its glory. With meteor rates of up to one per minute, this celestial event promises will peak on May 5 and 6. But, is the whole globe invited or are only certain regions blessed with this cosmic phenomenon?

FILE - The Lyrid meteor shower is seen over Burg on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn off Germany, Friday, April 20, 2018. The Lyrids occur every year in mid-to-late April. Peak activity for 2024 happens Sunday, April 21 into Monday, April 22, with 10 to 20 meteors expected per hour, weather permitting. Viewing lasts through April 29. (Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP, File)(AP)
FILE - The Lyrid meteor shower is seen over Burg on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn off Germany, Friday, April 20, 2018. The Lyrids occur every year in mid-to-late April. Peak activity for 2024 happens Sunday, April 21 into Monday, April 22, with 10 to 20 meteors expected per hour, weather permitting. Viewing lasts through April 29. (Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP, File)(AP)

Eta Aquariids Meteor shower

This weekend’s Eta Aquarius meteor shower peaks with the new moon, so expect darker skies than usual. This would help you to get a clearer glimpse of the shower. The Eta Aquarius meteors are known for their high velocity (44 miles per second) and leave trails of fire that burn for minutes. Talk about a cosmic afterglow! But where do these streaks of fire come from? Well, they come from the space debris which emerged from Halley’s Comet.

When and where to watch Eta Aquariids Meteor shower?

Make sure you have clear plans for Sunday night. You can even turn it into a beautiful date night. The best time to see the meteor shower is overnight Sunday into Monday. It will be visible in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during the pre-dawn hours.

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Viewers in the Southern Hemisphere, including countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Indonesia, can expect an exceptional experience with up to 40 meteors per hour. Meanwhile, those in the Northern Hemisphere, such as Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greenland, Hungary, India, and Japan, will see 10-20 meteors per hour which are comparatively quite lower.

In the southern half of the United States, you might see 10 to 20 shooting stars per hour when the sky is dark, there's no moon, and the meteors appear high up. If you're farther south, like in the Southern Hemisphere, you could see two to three times as many shooting stars reported by Earth Sky.

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How to watch Eta Aquariids Meteor shower?

NASA recommends the best way to watch this type of cosmic shower is to step outside and move to a location away from the bustling city lights, such as a secluded area in nature. For a more immersive experience, lie on your back with your feet facing east. Your eyes will adjust to the darkness sufficiently for you to see meteors after around thirty minutes. Make sure not to miss this experience if you are a true stargazer. The next Eta Aquariids outburst will take place 20 years from now. The shower which started back on April 15 will continue through May 27.

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