How to see the 2021 Eta Aquarid meteor shower in NorCal

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KCRA Sacramento 04 May, 2021 - 11:08pm 27 views

When is the meteor shower 2021?

Meteor Showers of 2021 The Lyrids reach their peak on the night of April 21–22, 2021, when you can expect to see an average of 10 meteors per hour in dark, clear skies between midnight and dawn. almanac.comMeteor Shower Calendar 2021: When Is the Next Meteor Shower?

Debris from Halley's Comet to light up the sky this week

CBS News 05 May, 2021 - 12:00am

The best viewing location will be in the southern hemisphere — and all you need to do is look up.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks each year during early May as Earth passes through the debris trail from Halley's Comet (1P/Halley). The Orionids meteor shower in October also originates from this comet.

The famous Halley's Comet is visible from Earth about every 76 years. It was last seen in 1986 and won't be visible again until 2061.

Each year, when Earth collides with the comet's orbit, vaporizing debris comes flying into our atmosphere at a whopping 148,000 miles per hour, according to NASA, making the meteors well known for their speed. Fast meteors tend to leave glowing dust "trains" behind them, producing magnificent "shooting stars."

Under normal conditions, the annual meteor shower typically produces about 30 meteors per hour. It's named for its radiant, or direction of origin, which appears to come from the constellation Aquarius. 

The Eta Aquarids are one of the best meteor showers of the year for people in the Southern Hemisphere, because Aquarius is higher in the sky there — but it's visible in the northern hemisphere, too.

The shower is visible in both hemispheres, with the best viewing occurring just before dawn on Wednesday. Locating the radiant point is not necessary for viewing — all you need to do is look up.

Viewing in the southern hemisphere is preferable, but not necessary. From the northern hemisphere, the shooting stars often appear as "earth grazers": Long meteors that appear to skim the surface of the Earth near the horizon.

To view any meteor shower, it's advised to escape harsh city lights and find an open area. Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, allowing about 30 minutes in the dark for your eyes to adjust.

Be patient, and don't forget a blanket!

Sophie Lewis is a social media producer and trending writer for CBS News, focusing on space and climate change.

Copyright © 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.

Watching the Skies: Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks

WOOD TV8 05 May, 2021 - 12:00am

Meteor Shower Peak: How To See It In Owings Mills

Patch.com 05 May, 2021 - 12:00am

OWINGS MILLS, MD — If the weather cooperates in Owings Mills and Reisterstown, stargazing opportunities await in the coming days.

The Eta Aquariids — sometimes spelled "Aquarids" — peak overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, reliably producing about 10 or 20 meteors an hour. The long-running meteor shower, which continues through May 28, favors the Southern Hemisphere, so anyone living along the U.S.-Canadian border may see only a smattering of shooting stars.

During the peak dates, the National Weather Service forecasts partly cloudy skies and showers in the overnight hours of Tuesday into Wednesday with temperatures expected to hover around the mid-60s.

See the Reisterstown forecast from the National Weather Service:

The American Meteor Society says the Eta Aquariid meteor shower produces a high percentage of persistent trains from the swift shooting stars, but few fireballs.

The constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer is the radiant point for the shower, but you'll be able to see meteors in any part of the sky. It's always best to get as far away from city lights as possible to watch meteor showers.

The waning crescent moon, which rises around dawn, shouldn't be too big of a problem. It will throw some light Tuesday morning, but won't shine so brightly during the Wednesday morning peak or on Thursday morning.

In fact, think of it as part of a trifecta of beauty with, if you're lucky, some shooting stars thrown in. The moon will join Jupiter and Saturn in the southeast sky Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Also in May, the full corn planting moon on the 26th is a supermoon, the second of three consecutive full moons as our planet's natural satellite reaches the closest point to Earth (perigee) in its elliptical orbit. The closeness to Earth — keep in mind, our planet and moon are still 226,000 apart at this point — makes the moon appear a bit brighter and larger than usual.

The next meteor shower isn't until July. The Delta Aquariids — another long-running shooting star show that runs for more than a month and intersects with the summertime favorite, the Perseids — peaks July 27-30. This shower also favors the Southern Hemisphere, but skywatchers in the tropical latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere can count on 15 or 20 meteors an hour during the predawn hours of the peak dates.

Related: 2021 Guide To Meteor Showers And Supermoons

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