The Eta Aquarids meteor shower is expected to hit its climax between this Saturday and Monday, which will offer the possibility to observe a large number of shooting stars.
However, cloudy skies and rain are forecast in the Northern Hemisphere over the US and Canada. While the rain benefits the sightings from the Southern Hemisphere, the Eta Aquarids is usually a pretty nice spectacle which can generate up to 30 meteors per hour in Northern Hemisphere.
However, due to the weather condition, the further you are to the south, the clearer the skies are. For example, the meteor shower will be more breathtaking in Florida than it will be in Washington.
Like the majority of meteor showers, most of the time, the best moment to spot the Eta Aquarids is right before the dawn of the days when it’s at its peak. In our case, that would be on Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning.
The meteor shower looks like will originate from the direction of Eta Aquarii, which is among the brightest stars in the constellation of Aquarius, and can be observed at this time of year, each year.
How to better observe the Eta Aquarids meteor shower?
To get the finest overview of the Eta Aquarids, turn your back to the east and face up to get a wide sight on the sky, as blogged Bill Cooke, the head of the Office of Meteoroid Environment at NASA.
Such meteors are renowned for their velocity, whizzing at approximately 148,000 mph, and may create sparkling “trains” which are flaming chunks of wreckage in the trail of a meteorite. The trains can be several seconds long or can last even for a few minutes.
The meteors are caused by leftover comet debris and shattered asteroids that create a dusty trail while circling the sun. When the Earth travels through these remains, the debris smashes into our atmosphere and burns into brightly colored, blazing streams in the skies.
The next-best meteor shower will be Delta Aquarids (debris left behind by Marden and Kracht comets), which will reach its maximum around July 28-29 and will yield approximately 20 meteors per hour but, this year, the viewing might be troublesome due to the nearly full moon.
In the meantime, enjoy the Eta Aquarids meteor shower which will reach its maximum this weekend.