When asked to name a comet, most people will remember Halley's.
Tonight (May 5), the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, produced by debris from
Halley's Comet, will peak in the night sky, and you can watch live
coverage of this Cinco de Mayo meteor shower online.
Late tonight (May 5) and during the early morning hours tomorrow (May
6), skywatchers will have a chance of sighting a few pieces of Halley's
Comet – "comet litter," if you will – zipping through our atmosphere in the
form of meteors. The online Slooh community observatory will host a free
webcast of the shower starting at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT) that will stream
You can also
watch the Eta Aquarid webcast live on Space.com
When and Where to Watch
Eta Aquarid meteor shower
is predicted to peak on the night of May 5
and into the early morning hours of May 6. Under ideal conditions (a dark,
moonless sky) about 40 of these very swift meteors can be seen per hour.
The shower appears at about onequarter peak strength for about three or
four days before and after May 6. [
See some amazing Eta Aquarid meteor
There are, however, two drawbacks if you plan to watch for these meteors
this year. First, there is the moon, which was full on Sunday. Although it is
now waning (losing illumination), it will still be a bright gibbous phase on
the peak morning and will likely "muscle in" on the fainter meteor streaks
by brightening the early morning sky with its light.
The other obstacle — at least for those watching from north of the equator
— is that the radiant (the emanation point of these meteors) is at the
"Water Jar" of
the constellation Aquarius
, which comes above the
southeast horizon around 3 a.m. local daylight time, and never gets very
high as seen from north temperate latitudes, so the actual observed rates ...