Skywatchers, get ready to see Eta Aquarid meteor shower peak this week


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to peak this week.

Eta Aquarid meteors occur as the Earth passes through the orbital path of the comet Halley. The debris from the comet burns upon entry to the Earth’s atmosphere and creates the fiery streaks in the sky that we know as meteors. 

Meteorologists say the best time to view the meteors will be before dawn on May 5. May 6 will also present good viewing opportunities; at best, about 10 meteors per hour will be possible.

For the best viewing, meteorologists recommend getting away from city lights. The meteors seemingly radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but there’s no need to look in a specific direction. 

Even if you don’t see meteors in the early morning sky, you may be able to spot two planets by the moon. The waning moon will move by Jupiter and Saturn this week. 

On May 3, look for the moon just below Saturn. It will be between the two planets on May 4 and below Jupiter by May 5. Look to the southeast before sunrise to spot the three. 

The full moon, known as the Pink Moon, rose last week.

The Pink Supermoon spotted by the DeZwaan Windmill in Holland, Michigan during the week of April 25. (Courtesy: David Behrens)

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