Monday, April 22, 2024

Wilmington-area meteor watchers can catch the Eta Aquarids peaks this weekend

Stargazers can check out the Eta Aquarids meteor shower this weekend (Port City Daily/File)
Stargazers can check out the Eta Aquarids meteor shower this weekend (Port City Daily/File)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Stargazers are in for a treat as debris from Halley’s Comet collide with earth’s atmosphere and put on the annual Eta Aquarids meteor shower.

The showers typically peak in early May and this year they are expected to peak this weekend.

“Eta Aquarid meteors are known for their speed. These meteors are fast—traveling at about 148,000 mph (66 km/s) into Earth’s atmosphere. Fast meteors can leave glowing “trains” (incandescent bits of debris in the wake of the meteor) which last for several seconds to minutes. In general, 30 Eta Aquarid meteors can be seen per hour during their peak,” according to NASA.

Although the best viewing of the shower is in the Southern Hemisphere, meteors can still be seen from our region.

“To view the Eta Aquarids find an area well away from city or street lights. Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse,” according to NASA.


 

Related Articles