Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tonight's Sky for May 5-6:Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower Peaks

Tonight will mark the peak of the Eta Aquarid Meteor shower for 2015, thus marking the climax for the 2-week event. Every April and into May, Earth passes through the stretch of space junk shed by Comet Halley, reaching the deepest concentration of debris tonight. According to some estimates, under ideal conditions (dark country skies), one can expect to see 10-15 meteors per hour. The reason the meteors are called Eta Aquarids is because the meteors seem to radiate from the constellation Aquarius, namely the region of its eta star. The best time to view the shower is predawn, as Aquarius is at its highest (though still rather low in the Southern sky) then.

To improve odds of seeing meteors, travel out of the city and to the country if you can. In the suburbs, just going from the front to back yard can make a dramatic difference as this will eliminate glare from those pesky street/house lights to a large extent.

Unfortunately, this year's Eta Aquarid peak coincides with the Full Moon. The good news: even the Moon won't be able to drown-out the brightest meteors.

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