One of the best meteor showers of the year will grace our skies tomorrow

By Holly Cormack 6 May 2019
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Brace yourself for the Southern Hemisphere’s most spectacular celestial show.

IF YOU’VE ever wanted to catch the Southern Hemisphere’s most astonishing show of shooting stars, there is no time like the present.

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower, which is typically active between April 19 and May 28, is set to peak between Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

This meteor shower is best viewed in the pre-dawn hours, and as far away from the bright city lights as possible.

Those brave enough to catch the prime light show between 3am-5am AEST can expect to see up to 50 meteors per hour.

What’s in a name?

The point in the sky where this celestial show emerges from is in the direction of the constellation Aquarius. The shower itself gets its name from the brightest star in this constellation – Eta Aquarii.

Along with the Orionid meteor show, which is visible in October, the Eta Aquarid is created by debris from Halley’s Comet. This time each year, the earth passes through a field of dust and debris left behind by the comet hundreds of years ago.

The debris enters our atmosphere and burns up, trailing striking streaks of green behind them.

How to see the Eta Aquarids?

While it can be seen worldwide, the Eta Aquarids favour the Southern Hemisphere – so we already have an ideal viewing spot down under.

According to Time and Date, the best way to view the meteor shower is to:

  1. Find a dark viewing spot – as far away from the city lights as you can manage.
  2. Dress for the weather – it’s starting to get pretty chilly at night, so dress warm.
  3. Lie down on the ground and look in the direction of the Aquarius constellation – there are several apps that can help you find it, such as Star Chart or Night Sky Lite.