Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Australians have a front-row seat for an ‘unusual’ meteor shower. Here’s how to catch it

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024
In the debris of Halley’s Comet, streams of dust catch the light to create a meteor shower called the Eta Aquariids.
Jonti Horner, a professor of astrophysics from the University of Southern Queensland, said it’s one of the few celestial events better seen from below the equator.
“It’s unusual as it’s one of the only annual showers better seen in the southern hemisphere,” he said.
“We really get a ringside seat, the best deal.”
The Eta Aquariid shower is an annual event, but this year’s display looks to be extra special according to Horner, thanks to a new moon.
“The darker the sky, the more meteors you can see, and this year the moon should be out of the way and not very visible, so conditions are perfect.”
Horner said that, coupled with the prediction of darker skies, scientists believe the shower itself could have significantly enhanced rates of activity.

“This could be the strongest shower of the 21st century, including the last 24 years and the 76 years to come,” he said.

How Australians can see the Eta Aquariids

Earth begins to encounter the debris from Halley’s Comet in mid-April, but for around a week centred on 6 May, the planet moves through the densest part of the stream, and the Eta Aquariids reach their peak.

The shower will be visible in the early hours of the morning, with the peak viewing time around 90 minutes after the rising of the radiant, the point where meteors seem to appear from.

eta_aquariids

Horner said people wanting to enjoy the shower should mark 6 May as the best day to see the Eta Aquariids.

“Early Monday (6 May) morning will be the best time to see the shower, over the weekend and Tuesday it will be visible but only barely,” he said.
“My advice: set your alarm for 3am or 3:30am, make a warm drink, head outside and sit or lie down facing north, north-east, and relax until sunrise looking at the sky.”
Horner also had some advice for stargazers hoping to avoid a sleepless night.
“If you don’t fancy an early morning wakeup, the is getting easier to see in the early evening,” he said.
Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Australians have a front-row seat for an ‘unusual’ meteor shower. Here’s how to catch it”
  1. EmilyJohnson believes that Australians are lucky to have a front-row seat to witness the ‘unusual’ meteor shower. She thinks it’s a fantastic opportunity to observe the beauty of the Eta Aquariids, especially with this year’s anticipated exceptional display due to the absence of the moon’s interference. EmilyJohnson encourages everyone to mark their calendars for May 6th to catch this spectacular celestial event.

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