The Month Long Aquarids

You may have noticed there was no monthly meteor post for March, nor do I have a post for you specifically for April. See, the Lyrid Meteor Showers may be currently happening but are now soon to end, and where I live in the Northeast Kingdom, we’ve had nothing but rain in our night skies.

We’re actually known for having quite a lot of atmospheric activity in our region regarding storms and weather patterns, making it very difficult to star gaze, let alone catch these meteoroids flaring up in our atmosphere.

So although the Lyrid Meteor Showers just began this past April 16th, they are due to end this April 25th, with its peak being the 22nd – 25th. What I can tell you to look forward to, are the Eta Aquarid Meteor Showers!

Aquarius constellation in StellariumView full sized image in a new tab here.

All you need to know about the wonderfully month long Eta Aquarids:
Origins:
Since meteors hail from meteoroids falling off of asteroids and comets whizzing by Earth, specifically, us seeing the trail of these fly-by objects, the Eta Aquarids owe their origins to Halley’s Comet! Did you know Halley’s Comet is responsible for a second annual meteor shower?

Rate per hour:
The Aquarids were first recorded in 1870 by a man named G.L. Tupman (Lieutenant-Colonel). You can read more about the several decades of monitoring and cataloguing of this meteor shower here, but thanks to these discoverers and scientists we know in our Northern Hemisphere to expect 10-20 meteors per hour!

The Peak:
As always, every meteor shower has a peak. Some meteor showers only last days, like a few February meteor showers, meaning their peaks only last a few hours. The Aquarids last a month, and as any astronomer lover knows, when doing your research you may get varied results in what astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts may say. You may find most sites will say the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower peak is May 5th – 6th, but I want you to get out there to star gaze if you have a clear night in celebration of May 4th. For any Star Wars fan, this is a holiday!

Now I hope you enjoy the image above, but let me show you what you can expect just as the Aquarius constellation starts to rise about an hour before dawn:

etaaquarids2
View full sized image in new tab here.
Image created using Stellarium.

Lucky for me I’m an early bird – early enough for me to possibly enjoy this particular meteor shower – as the Aquarius constellation will only rise above our horizon (again, the Northeast Kingdom) one hour before dawn. There are many more meteor showers to look forward to this coming summer – stay tuned!

May the force be with you.

 

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