Meteor shower Eta-Aquarida in early May: how and where to observe?

Meteor shower Eta-Aquarida in early May: how and where to observe?

Eta Aquariums can be a spectacular meteor shower. It reaches a maximum each year around the beginning of May, this year the peak of the stream is expected on May 6 in the morning, but the meteors of this stream can be seen between April 19 and May 28.

We see meteors when the Earth crosses the orbit of comet Halley, this is due to their dependence on the Orionid flow in October, which also includes the remains of the same comet. Visibility of the stream, as a rule, is slightly better for observers located in tropical and southern latitudes, but you can see the Eta-Aquarida in the northern hemisphere, also enjoying great pleasure from the beautiful sight.

It may seem a bit strange that the flow is better seen from one part of the globe than from the others, but the reason is quite simple - it is the location of the radiant and the time of the sun rising.

Meteor shower Eta-Aquarida in early May: how and where to observe?

This Aquarius, the Great Square of Pegasus and Fomalgaut.

A radiant is a point in the sky at which all meteors from a given stream appear to appear, and the constellation in the center of which this point is located gives the name to this meteor shower. In the case of Eta-Aquarid, the radiant is very close to the star Eta Aquarii in the constellation Aquarius.

At any given time, the radiant for Eta-Aquarid (or any other point in the sky that matters) rises at the same local time for a particular place in which it does so in any other place. However, during May, the sunrise in the southern hemisphere occurs a little later than in the northern hemisphere. This means that Aquarius rises higher in the predawn sky, giving observers in the southern hemisphere more likely to see meteors from this stream.

Observation Tips

It is a bit difficult to notice meteors, it is usually found that it is best to move the eye in a circle, but remain focused on a point about 40 degrees from the radiant.

It is very easy to determine 40 degrees by extending your hand, and while pulling your palms away from you, straightening your fingers. The distance from the little finger to the thumb will be about 25 degrees, respectively, two such segments will give you an approximate estimate of 40 degrees.

Meteor shower Eta-Aquarida in early May: how and where to observe?

Snapshot of Halley's comet, taken on May 29, 1910 by Edward Barnard. Published July 3, 1910 in the New York Times.

If you look directly at the radiant, then any meteors appearing at this point in the sky will head straight for you, and burn high in the atmosphere. However, when they are sent to you, every trace left by them will be very short and difficult to detect.

Of course, the best way to watch meteor showers is to sleep a few hours before midnight, then get up, turn into a warm blanket and build a comfortable nest on a sun lounger or other comfortable seat, relax and wait. You may be lucky, and you will immediately see one, but perhaps you can spend some time there, so creating warmth and comfort for yourself is very important so that you can stay there.

Meteor shower Eta-Aquarida in early May: how and where to observe?

You do not want you to leave because of the cold and lack of comfort after half an hour, and then you learned that others saw a wonderful sight a few hours later. You do not need any special technology to observe the meteor shower, not even a telescope or binoculars, so this is an activity that anyone can enjoy.

If the weather is appropriate, astronomers' forecasts for observing Eta Aquaria this year are good. By the time the peak of the meteor shower occurs, the moon will sit down, so the chance to see more meteors will be even higher.

Also make sure that your eyes are dark-adapted, this may limit what you see. But if you are lucky and patient, then during the peak you can see as many as 50 meteors in one hour. Good luck!

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