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The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower Will Be Visible From This Weekend

The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower Will Be Visible From This Weekend

More May meteor madness

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

Stargazers, after the excitement of the Lyrid meteor shower a few weeks back, and the eerie celestial ballet of Elon Musk's Starlink satellites, get set for the next to sit in your back garden for the Eta Aquariids meteor shower over the next couple of days.

So, this particular shower should see shooting stars lighting up the skies over the UK this weekend, peaking on Tuesday night.

If you're lucky - and the skies are clear - then you should be able to see dozens of meteors crashing their way across the sky every hour while the event is ongoing.


The Eta Aquariids are created by the debris that is left over by Halley's Comet and is an annual event each April and May.

At the peak, as many as 40 meteors per hour could be visible.

All you need to witness this cosmic spectacular is a comfy chair and the willingness to sit outside for a good few hours.

That's right, no binoculars or telescope required. Take that, Dr Brian Cox.

The meteor shower is named after the constellation Aquarius, which is the part of the sky you'll need to be looking towards in order to see them.


That's with specific reference to the star Eta Aquarii.

Of course, the problem is that this meteor shower will be best viewed in the Southern Hemisphere, but there's still a chance for the rest of us in the north.

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich suggests that for the best conditions, you want to find a 'safe location away from street lights and other sources of light pollution'.

NASA also suggests that you lie on your back, so as to maximise the amount of sky that you can see.

Oh, and your neck will thank you for it, too.


Furthermore, you also want to have a scan of the full sky, rather than just staring in the one direction.

Focusing on one place can mean that you miss a fair bit of the action.

If you're in Australia, then you're in luck, as that's apparently at the most beneficial angle to see the shower in full force.

University of Melbourne Physicist Clare Kenyon told ABC: "You're actually best to not have equipment,

"You don't want a telescope, you don't want binoculars, you don't want to be zooming in on any part of the sky. It's the ideal stargazing activity to begin with because you don't need equipment, except maybe a blanket and a thermos."

There you go, settle in and make a night of it.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, UK News, Interesting, Weird