Monday, 18 November, 2019


Wilmington-area meteor watchers can catch the Eta Aquarids peaks this weekend

A composite image of the 2013 Eta Aquarid in Australia. Source American Meteor Society Colin Legg A composite image of the 2013 Eta Aquarid in Australia. Source American Meteor Society Colin LeggMore
Kristine Garrett | 05 May, 2019, 18:25

In the case of the Eta Aquariids, the debris was left by Halley's Comet as it passed near the Sun.

The weather will improve across the eastern United States on Sunday night, allowing people to see some meteors despite the peak of the shower falling the night prior.

Unlike a solar eclipse the meteor shower can be viewed by the naked eye and no special equipment will be needed to see them at their best and brightest.

The meteoroids (small dust grains) are distributed around the comet's orbit.

When these particles hit the upper atmosphere they burn up creating the stunning light show known as shooting stars.

"Last night's shower was possibly visible throughout the whole North Island, it was quite cloudy in Wellington so we couldn't really see it unfortunately", Darwen said. It only passes through our region every 75 years. The last perihelion was in February 1986 and the next perihelion will be in 2061.

But the Northern Hemisphere has an hourly rate of only about 10 meteors, according to NASA, because of the "viewing location of the radiant from different latitudes". This inspired exposure captures a meteor streak moving left to right through the frame.

They get their name from the constellation Aquarius, due to the meteors appearing to originate from that point in the sky. Still waters of the small pond near Albion, Maine, USA reflect the starry scene and the orange glow of nearby artificial lights scattered by a low cloud bank.

The Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ) wrote on its website that the "eta-Aquarids.is visible for only a few hours before dawn, essentially from tropical and southern hemisphere sites".

Between 3:00 and dawn on 6 May would be the best time to view. Meanwhile, those south of the equator can expect over 40 meteors per hour on the peak night.

Eta Aquarids meteor shower - While the shower is active from 19th of April through to the 28th of May, this weekend and on Monday the meteor showers will be at their peak.

However, the visibility of the meteor shower also depends on the weather and light pollution. If you have a telescope, go ahead and use it.

To see the greatest number of meteors, it is best to lie down in a lawn chair or on the ground and to take in as much of the night sky as possible. You guessed it - the origin of the meteor from the constellation Orion. Instead, look at the sky as a whole.

Earthgrazers, according to NASA, are long meteors that appear to skim the surface of the Earth at the horizon.

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