Eta Aquarid meteor shower to peak this weekend

Eta Aquarid meteor shower to peak this weekend

Chances are you are not planning on waking up at 3:00am this weekend - but if you do, you could be treated to a spectacular light show in the sky.

The Eta Aquariids meteor shower is visible from about April 19 to about May 28 each year with peak activity on or around May 5.

According to the International Meteor Organization, the Eta Aquarids usually produce medium rates of 10 to 30 meteors every hour just before dawn.

Ms Bailey predicts there will be about 40 meteors per hour before they start to disappear at sunrise.

Eta Aquarid meteors appear to come from location of constellation Aquarius, in one of its brightest stars, the Eta Aquarii.

The cause of the Eta Aquarids is the famous Halley's Comet, named after Astronomer Edmund Halley who first determined in 1705 that the comet was periodic.

With an early-May peak - this year it's May 4-6 - the Eta Aquarid meteors travel at about 148,000 miles per hour into Earth's atmosphere.

"The earth is passing through debris left by that comet", observatory manager Judith Bailey at Victoria's Ballarat Observatory told Yahoo News Australia. That's the case especially Friday and Saturday nights.

WHILE Sunday mornings are better known for sleeping in, the Eta Aquarids meteor shower could be a good reason to get out of bed early this weekend.

Meteor showers can have visibility around the globe.

The American Meteor Society recommended to those interested to witness this show, get away from the city lights and drive to a "darker" place.

The last time it was visible from Earth was 1986, and it is next expected to pass by in 2061. The meteors will then be more likely to appear with a long tail.

Renowned for their speed the meteors will be entering the earth's atmosphere at about 238,000km per hour and will leave a trail of glowing debris following them.

'The fast and often bright meteors make the wait for the radiant rise worthwhile'.



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