• Home
  • /
  • Space
  • /
  • Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower Set to Dazzle Skywatchers

Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower Set to Dazzle Skywatchers

A lovely enhanced photograph caught during a meteor shower. You will have this chance tonight during the meteor shower astronomical event of November. Credit: Shutterstock

Get ready to witness a breathtaking spectacle in the night sky! The Eta Aquarids meteor shower, one of the most highly anticipated astronomical events of the year, is about to reach its peak on May 5. This year's shower is predicted to be even more stunning than usual, with up to 160 meteors per hour streaking across the sky in a dazzling display. Though the brightness of the full moon may obscure some of the fainter meteors, the Eta Aquarids are still expected to put on an awe-inspiring show for skywatchers all around the world.

Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower: Get Ready for a Celestial Show

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower, active in April and May, will reach its peak in the predawn hours of May 5. This year’s event promises to be particularly impressive, with NASA forecasting 120-160 meteors per hour. Despite the full moon’s brightness washing out weaker meteors, the Eta Aquarids remain one of the most intense meteor showers.

Fireballs Light Up the Sky

Ranked sixth among meteor showers in fireball production by NASA camera data, these bright fireballs result from Earth passing through debris from Halley’s Comet, much of it over 3,000 years old. Traveling at 238,000 kilometers per hour, these fireballs leave behind glowing “trains” lasting several seconds to minutes.

Visible Across the Globe

Both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres can witness the Eta Aquarids, but the Southern Hemisphere enjoys higher visibility rates due to the radiant’s location in the Aquarius constellation. Meteors become visible after midnight, peaking between 3-4 a.m. until sunrise. For optimal observation, choose an area free of light pollution.

Halley’s Comet

Halley’s Comet, a well-known celestial object, orbits the Sun once every 75-76 years. As the most famous short-period comet, it last appeared in 1986 and will return in 2061. Named after astronomer Edmond Halley, the comet’s sightings date back to ancient civilizations. Composed mainly of water, dust, and rocky particles, Halley’s Comet creates spectacular meteor showers like the Eta Aquarids and Orionids as Earth passes through its debris trail.

Have something to add? Visit Curiosmos on Facebook. Join the discussion in our mobile Telegram group.