The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

Pablo Tucker
July 1, 2020

"Halley's Comet was the first comet predicted to return, by Edmond Halley in the 17 century, making its appearance some 16 years after Halley's death".

Australians are being told to "look east" on Wednesday morning to see a meteor shower that experts say is "dust" that was shed from Halley's comet.

"This will be one of the best meteor showers that we will see this year", Dr Brad Tucker from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics said.

"Every year Earth passes through these debris trails, which allows the bits to collide with our atmosphere where they disintegrate to create fiery and colourful streaks in the sky".

The Eta Aquariids have been known to produce up to 50 shooting stars an hour.

Stargazers will also be able to see three of the solar system's brightest planets - Venus, Mars and Saturn - in the same region of sky as the shower and those in darker parts of Victoria may even be able to see the wispy haze of the Milky Way.

But, a cold front could hamper WA's view of the sky show. "It is a moderate shower for the Northern Hemisphere". This year, the meteor shower will also have to compete with an almost-full moon, so you'll catching a glimpse pre-dawn after the moon sets is your best bet.

Depending on where in Australia you're viewing the meteor shower from, you may see a different number of these "shooting stars".

Viewed from the United Kingdom, the constellation will be low on the eastern horizon at about 3am on Wednesday.

"The night sky provides a myriad of lovely sights beyond just these two, and I encourage everyone to attempt to become more familiar them and reconnect with the sky just above their heads", he said.

DON'T MISS.What is the spiritual meaning of the Flower Moon? . If you need your sleep, there will still be some notable activity for approximately 24-hours after this, and intermittent meteors for another couple of weeks.

To view any meteor shower, it is always advised to escape harsh city lights and find an open area.

In addition to the almost-full moon lighting up the sky, there are now three bright planets to contend with.

But if you have a private garden of backyard you can access during the coronavirus lockdown, you can still have a go.

NASA said: "Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair". Lie back with your feet facing east and loop up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.

Tucker said it's best to let you or eyes adjust for 10 minutes before complaining you can't see anything, and had a few other tips too. "You might see 15 or 20 meteors an hour under really good conditions".

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