Catch The Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower This Weekend
Get ready for a great spring meteor shower. The Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower promises 10 to 20 meteors an hour under ideal conditions.
The Eta Aquarids run from May 4th through 6th, but peak in the pre dawn hours of the 5th. The Eta Aquarids aren’t considered one of the more spectacular showers, but if you’re patient you could see some amazing shooting stars.
I love meteor showers. Every August I round up my family, blankets, and thermoses of hot chocolate to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower, arguably the easiest shower to view because of the ideal summer weather. But there are other showers, notably the Leonids in November, and the Eta Aquarids this weekend, that produce bright meteors.
Here’s a couple of tips that will improve your meteor shower watching experience.
Set Your Expectations
It would be amazing to see the sky filled with giant, slow burning meteors that light up the night. The Eta Aquarids aren’t like that. Think of it this way: don’t go in expecting a torrential downpour; instead it’s much more like a light, spring shower.
Dress warmly. You’ll be outside in the middle of the night and it’s going to get cold. You’re going to want to bring a sweater, a coat, and a few blankets to wrap up in. Hot Cocoa is encouraged.
Get Away From Ambient Light Sources
Everything from the street lights, your front porch light, and even the bright screen on your phone can take away from your viewing enjoyment. If you’re eyes have adjusted to the darkness and you look down at your iPhone screen to check email, your eyes will have to readjust again. Try and find somewhere nice and dark for best enjoyment and if possible leave your mobile electronics at home.
As with nearly every aspect of astronomy, patience is the key. If you don’t see one in the first five minutes, don’t give up. Your eyes need at least 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness. Find a comfortable spot, pick a spot in the sky, and just watch.
More tips from Space.com.
Have fun and enjoy the meteor shower!