The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower Can Be Best Seen This Week

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The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be a sight to see on Friday night (and early Saturday morning) for anyone willing to stay up late enough.

An NBC4 viewer sent us dashcam video from the eastbound 10 Freeway near Mid-City/downtown Los Angeles. It is one of the two meteor showers created by debris from Halley's Comet.

Because of the stars' positioning in the sky (and thanks to longer nights as the Southern Hemisphere moves toward the June Solstice), stargazers near the equator will see the most spectacular show. Unlike some of the other annual meteor displays whose history can be traced back for many centuries, the Eta Aquarids were not "officially" discovered until the late 19th century.

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What are the Eta Aquarids?

The southern hemisphere is more preferable for observation as Aquarius constellation where the radiant of a meteor shower, is much higher in the sky in the southern hemisphere than the Northern. The best time to see the shower is just before dawn at 4 am in the morning.

"The good news is you have a better view of this meteor shower than just about anywhere else in the U.S.", MacRobert said.

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The shooting stars will appear to originate from the constellation of Aquarius.

Tomorrow night, the moon - which can wash out meteors with its bright light - will have already set by the time the meteor shower is on the horizon.

"But it's not. The reason it's not is that sunrise comes later to the Southern Hemisphere (where it's autumn in May) and earlier to the Northern Hemisphere (where it's spring in May)".

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To have the best perspective of the Eta Aquariids, head outside a couple of hours before dawn. And it also means the radiant point of the Eta Aquarid shower has a chance to climb higher into the predawn sky as seen from more southerly latitudes. In the middle you can see about 30 this akvarid within the hour. Even at 20 to 50 meteors per hour, it may take minutes between sightings.