Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this week! Here's what you need to know
Another spring celestial event is just days away.
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peak is this week, with the official pinnacle on the morning of Wednesday, May 5. But astronomers say that the mornings of May 4 or 6 may be just as good!
With the new moon phase coinciding with the event this year, the main limiting factors will be light pollution and weather.
But there could be one more. According to NASA, this shower favors the Southern Hemisphere because of the point in the sky from which the meteors will appear to come from - the constellation Aquarius, which is higher in the sky in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, these meteors can more often be seen as "earthgrazers," which are long meteors that appear to skim the surface of the Earth near the horizon.
So even if the weather is clear and the surroundings are dark, you may need to be in an open area with minimal obstructions, such as a flat field or beach. But folks in the Northern Hemisphere can still enjoy the shower, with about 10 meteors an hour expected at the peak.
Aquarius rises above the horizon at around 2 a.m. in the east-southeast sky. For this reason, the pre-dawn hours will be your best chance to see them. Happy hunting!