Viewing The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower In 2020

( With the free stargazing app Star Walk 2, you will never miss the top astronomical events. )

What is the Eta Aquariid meteor shower?

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower (also spelled as Eta Aquarid) is a moderately active meteor shower that runs from April 19 to May 28 every year and produces its maximum activity around May 5. Like the Orionids in October, the Eta Aquariid meteor shower originates from the comet 1P/Halley (Halley’s Comet or Comet Halley). Comet Halley is the only known short-period comet regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth (every 75–76 years). The last time this comet was seen by skywatchers was in 1986. Next time 1P/Halley will enter the inner Solar system only in 2061.

(Easily identify the radiant of Eta Aquariids with the free stargazing app Star Walk 2 for iOS and Android. )

When and where to see Eta Aquariids in 2020?

Unlike many other meteor showers, the Eta Aquariids do not have a sharp peak. The shower is characterized by a broad maximum that lasts about a week. In 2020, the maximum activity is expected around May 4–5, but approximately equal number of meteors can be seen several days before and after these days. This year, the Moon will be 91% full on May 4–5 and will outshine some meteors, so try watching for them for several days for better results.

How to see the Eta Aquariid meteors?

Get ready to observe the meteors in the dark predawn hours on days around May 4–5. No optical aid or special skills are needed to see the Eta Aquariids in the sky. To maximize your viewing experience, find an open viewing location, away from the city lights and other sources of light pollution, and look at the sky with the naked eye.

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