How to See the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower This Weekend

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A mysterious flash of light in the sky widely seen Thursday night may have been a preview of a meteor shower that will peak Saturday morning.

Look for the constellation Aquarius-the meteors are thought to stem from Eta Aquarii, one of its brightest stars, which is called the "radiant". The streaks of light will seem to be everywhere. In the Northern hemisphere the meteors can often be seen just above the horizon.

Meteors leave a persistent trail, which will all point back in Eta Aquarii's direction.

Are you planning to take photos or video of the meteor shower?

The inhabitants of the planet Earth on may 5 and 6 will be able to see the sky meteor shower Aquarids, associated with comet Halley.

The latest meteor shower is about to peak. "Be patient - the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse".

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To find the best spot to scour the night sky, Bruce McClure from EarthSky.org suggests finding the Aquarius Constellation, and pinpointing its Y-shaped "Water Jar", which is made up of four stars, including Eta Aquarii. As it rises, the meteors shorten in length but there will be more of them.

The best advice for viewing this shower - get as far away from city lights as you can and look up.

While morning may be best to catch the shower, Eta Aquarids can also be seen in late evening. "Since they are on the outbound leg of their orbits, these meteors arrive mainly in daylight; thus the nighttime observation interval is short and occurs just before dawn".

The reason the Northern Hemisphere doesn't get to see as many meteors as the Southern Hemisphere is because the radiant is actually cut off in the night sky by the horizon.

The dust and pea sized gravel will fall towards Earth at a rate of about 30 per hour, leaving a bright streak in the sky commonly known as a shooting star. A reclining chair and blankets can help to keep one's neck from tiring.

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