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How to watch stunning Eta Aquariid meteor shower this weekend

How to watch stunning Eta Aquariid meteor shower this weekend

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower will peak tonight (5 May)

Tonight (5 May) is going to be your best chance to get a look at a stunning meteor shower.

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower is one of the most visible of all the annual meteor showers, making this night a prime opportunity to look up into the night sky and see something wondrous.

Pretty much every year on 5 May is the prime time to watch the meteor shower, and while the weather has been getting a little nicer you'll still want to wrap up warm for a trip outdoors.

One of the key parts of being able to watch it is having a clear sky, so make sure you're away from somewhere with lots of light pollution and check your weather forecast to see if it's going to be cloudy.

Tonight through to tomorrow (6 May) morning is peak time for seeing the Eta Aquariids and for Brits the best view will come if you're looking to the east before dawn breaks.

This is the peak time of year to see them. (Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This is the peak time of year to see them. (Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Sadly the UK is not the best place in the world to watch them as we're in the wrong hemisphere for that, but you can always take part in looking out for the meteor shower.

According to the Met Office as we plough onwards towards Bank Holiday Monday there are 'still some uncertainty around the exact details of the forecast' as they say computer models of the weather are disagreeing with each other.

The best you can hope for is to check the weather where you are, get a few forecasts to make sure you know what's what in your area and plan accordingly.

It's also something that requires a good deal of patience, so once you've found a spot to gaze at the meteor shower from it's a good idea to pack accordingly.

Clear skies, wrap up warm, face east. (Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Clear skies, wrap up warm, face east. (Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Bring something comfy to sit on, something to eat and drink, things to keep yourself warm when the temperature drops and some things to do that'll keep your mind occupied.

Staying away from light pollution is important, as is giving your eyes time to adjust to the darkness so going out and getting set up ahead of time can help.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere the best viewing time is a few hours before dawn.

NASA's advice for spotting them is to bring a sleeping bag and lie on your back with your feet facing east and your eyes pointed skyward.

They reckon it takes about half an hour for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, and once again patience is a virtue.

Featured Image Credit: Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Topics: Space, Science

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