Astronomy Blog

Share |

The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

May 1, 2013; 7:31 AM ET

Updated viewing condition (skycover) map for the Eta Aquarids for tonight and tomorrow predawn hours.

A couple of interesting facts about this meteor shower (meteors are also known as shooting stars):

Mid- and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere will average about 10-20 meteors per hour, while areas closer to the equator (i.e., the tropics) and the Southern Hemisphere could see up to 80.

This meteor shower has a relatively broad peak, meaning you can watch it for several days from May 4 through May 7 with the peak hours likely being in the predawn hours of Sunday morning, May 5.

For those in the northeastern United States, viewing conditions will be great early Sunday morning as a large area of high pressure causes mainly clear skies in the early morning hours Sunday. Another positive for viewing this event will be that the moon will be in its waning crescent phase (a small sliver) and getting smaller as we go through time and thus should not light up the sky much making it easier to see the shooting stars.

The predawn hours (4-6 a.m.) will be the best time to see Eta Aquarid meteors everywhere.

The shower is named after the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer as this is where the shooting stars will seem to be coming from.

You can leave your comments, as well as be part of a community where discussions on any astronomy subject such as light pollution when you join AccuWeather's Astronomy Facebook Fanpage by clicking here. We are now well over 24,000 likes. Tell your friends about this site and blog and have them weigh in on some exciting issues. We encourage open discussion and will never criticize any idea, and no negative conversation will be allowed.

The experts on this Facebook page will keep you up to date on any astronomy-related subject. Please feel free to share your opinions.

And please keep the astronomy pictures coming. They have been simply amazing. Ask questions, share comments, share anything.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

Comments

Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Astronomy Weather Blog

  • Meteor showers and fireballs

    July 28, 2016; 3:40 PM ET

    Fireballs were caught on video over California last night. Meteor activity is heating up with the peak of a shower tonight. The Perseids will be the strongest meteor shower in years when it peaks in August.

  • Weekend astronomy viewing guide

    July 22, 2016; 4:11 PM ET

    Summer nights are the perfect time to be outdoors. Here are a few ideas for your night sky viewing this weekend. If clouds block your view, chances are you will have a cool lightning show instead!

  • Updated July Fourth Holiday weekend astronomy guide

    July 2, 2016; 4:30 PM ET

    There is a lot to see in the night sky this July Fourth holiday weekend. With the new moon soon, the Milky Way will be visible. Also, see the planets shimmer, search for the highest clouds on Earth and perhaps catch a glimpse of the aurora or a stray meteor. Sky viewing conditions are detailed for each night through Independence Day.

  • July Fourth Holiday Weekend Astronomy Guide

    July 1, 2016; 4:18 PM ET

    There is a lot to see in the night sky this July Fourth holiday weekend. See the planets shimmer, search for the highest clouds on Earth and perhaps catch a glimpse of the Aurora. Sky viewing conditions are detailed for each night through Independence Day.

  • June Bootids meteor shower

    June 24, 2016; 3:07 PM ET

    The fickle June Bootids meteor shower is only a few days away. It will peak Sunday night, but the level of activity is unknown.

About This Blog

Astronomy Blog
The AccuWeather.com astronomy blog, by Dave Samuhel, discusses stargazing, including how weather will affect viewing conditions of astronomical phenomenon.