Don't miss the Eta Aquarid meteor shower happening tonight

Posted May 06, 2017

The Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory will open to give people a fantastic view of the meteor shower.

This year, the shower will peak on the evening of May 5.

(Till Credner, AlltheSky via Wikimedia)Where in the sky is best to watch the Eta Aquarids? Those living in the southern hemisphere should look north. Folks living along the Gulf Coast of the United States and as far south as Miami will have the best view of this nighttime event.

Across the Northern Hemisphere, rates will be low but any meteors you witness will be memorable as they will be very long and long lasting. A reclining chair and blankets can help to keep one's neck from tiring.

Here is some great advice via Bob Lunsford (American Meteor Society): To see the most activity, observe after the radiant has risen (well after midnight) and look approximately halfway up in the sky toward the east.

The meteors originate from Eta Aquarii - one of the brightest stars in the Aquarius constellation.

"After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors".

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"So you'd think the shower would be about the same as seen from around the globe".

The water jar is in the southern part of the constellation for those in the Southern Hemisphere, and the northern part for those in the Northern Hemisphere.

'Earthgrazers are long meteors that appear to skim the surface of the Earth at the horizon'.

Those in the Southern Hemisphere might not get to experience the impending total solar eclipse like our American friends, but at least we get the best version of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. When the Earth interacts with that rubble river, those comet bits race through our atmosphere at high speeds to produce the effect of "shooting stars".

The Earth experiences a meteor shower when the Earth's orbit coincides with the comet's.

The annual, week-long meteor shower is expected to be at its most visible during early Saturday morning, NASA said in a blog post Friday.

Nasa added: 'To view the Eta Aquarids find an area well away from city or street lights.