How to See the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower This Weekend

NASA Image of the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

NASA Image of the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

Star-gazing New Zealanders are set for a treat this weekend, with our country in flawless position to view a major meteor shower.

Those in mid-northern latitudes can expect about 10 to 15 meteors per hour - but you could get lucky and see more. Then in 1876, professor Alexander Stewart Herschel pointed out that the orbit of Halley's comet almost coincided with Earth's orbit around May 4, and that if we encountered any comet debris capable of producing meteors, those streaks of light would appear to dart from the vicinity of Aquarius.

Thanks for reading, and just look up, you never know what you will see!

According to NASA, the Eta Aquarids are known for moving swiftly - about 148,000 miles per hour.

The Eta Aquarids have a most interesting lineage.

Look for the constellation Aquarius-the meteors are thought to stem from Eta Aquarii, one of its brightest stars, which is called the "radiant".

Because these meteors appear to radiate from a position low on the eastern horizon for midnorthern latitudes, watchers in the tropics are best-placed.

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Here's how you can look out for the meteor showers set to appear tonight and tomorrow.

Those in the Southern Hemisphere might not get to experience the impending total solar eclipse like our American friends, but at least we get the best version of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower.

Observers in the southern hemisphere will have the best view, and will see the shower's radiant in the north.

The Eta Aquarid originates from Halley's Comet.

'In the Northern Hemisphere, Eta Aquarid meteors can more often be seen as "earthgrazers"'. As it rises, the meteors shorten in length but there will be more of them.

The best place to spot them is near the Aquarius constellation.

According to the American Meteor Society, "From the equator to 25S they can produce rates of 40-60 per hour just before dawn at maximum". You have better chances to see clear skies Sunday morning. "These are swift meteors that produce a high percentage of persistent trains, but few fireballs".

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