ETA Aquarids meteor shower to put on stunning show this weekend

Meteor shower over the Pinnacles by Jon Hewson.
Meteor shower over the Pinnacles by Jon Hewson.

WHILE Sunday mornings are better known for sleeping in, the Eta Aquarids meteor shower could be a good reason to get out of bed early this weekend.

The shower is active from April 19 through to the of May 28, reaching its peak from May 5 to 6 this weekend.

At its peak, the meteor per hour rate can vary between 10 – 20 meteors.

What is the ETA Aquarids 

The cause of the Eta Aquarids is the famous Halley’s Comet, named after Astronomer Edmund Halley who first determined in 1705 that the comet was periodic.

The Eta Aquarids are one of two meteor showers caused by Halley’s Comet, with the other shower being October’s Orionids.

Halley’s orbit around the Sun takes 75 years and will next be spotted in the sky in 2061.

The meteors will seem to appear from the constellation Aquarius which gives the meteor shower its name.

Where to spot the ETA Aquarids 

Aquarius will appear in the sky over the Perth hills about 11:30pm.

Stargazers should go out about 4am and give their eyes 15 minutes to adjust to the dark and look between north and northeast.

This year, the Moon is near its New Moon phase so there won’t be any light pollution to drown out the faint meteors.

While it’s always best to find a nice park or a large open space for best viewing of a meteor shower, you can go out to our front or back yard and still get a good view.