Eta AquaridDo you own a telescope? Now would be a great time to get it into a viewing position, so you could watch the shooting star display that is Eta Aquarids.

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

The meteor shower is actually caused from debris from Comet Halley; it takes place each year in either April or May as Earth crosses the orbital path of the comet.
Dust and particles will illuminate the sky, which we call Eta Aquarid, producing a magnificent shooting star spectacle.

When to Watch

There could be any number of possibilities to see the event from the 19th May to the 28th May, however in the UK the best dates are probably the night time of the 6th May and early morning of the 7th May. It is likely that at its peak a stargazer may witness thirty meteors.

The best displays will definitely be before dawn, so it is worth getting up early!

Where to Watch

The Southern Hemisphere will definitely get the best view of the meteor shower; in order to see the best display in the UK, finding a place that is free from artificial light, out of town and where there is less light pollution would be really beneficial.

The Comet Connection

You will likely have heard of Halley’s Comet as it is one of the more famous comets, named for an astronomer who discovered the comet – Edmond Halley. He established that comets approaching in the years 1531, 1607 and 1682 were in fact one and the same. Comet Halley is rare in the sense that it is the only ‘short period comet’ (at least known at this time) that is visible from Earth with the naked eye. However having said that it is the dust that is seen regularly and in fact, you would have to wait until 2061 for the comet itself to be visible again.