meteor shower may 4, 2020
Fast meteors can leave glowing trails that last for several seconds to even minutes. It also helps to know that – as seen from all parts of Earth – the dark hour before dawn typically presents the greatest number of Eta Aquariid meteors.

And it might be smart to watch several days ahead of the peak because a waxing gibbous moon will try to snatch the limelight from this year’s shower as it moves toward full on Thursday. To learn more, check this post on why more Eta Aquariid meteors are visible in the Southern Hemisphere. “But, of course, you never know.”. Before dawn these next several mornings – May 4, 5 and 6, 2020 – meteors from the annual Eta Aquariid meteor shower will be flying, though in the glaring light of the almost-full waxing gibbous moon. Appreciably north of 40 degrees north latitude (the latitude of Denver, Colorado; Beijing, China; and Madrid, Spain), the meteors are few and far between. Updated 4:18 PM ET, Mon May 4, 2020 . “This shower has a rather broad maximum, so just as many meteors may be flying on the mornings before and after,” he said in his column. In total I captured 8 meteors pointing south and 12 facing east @ 14 mm.” Thanks, Colin! Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower – May 4-5, 2020 – Brings Spring! Moon sweeps by Jupiter and Saturn October 21 to 23, Watch for Earth’s shadow and the Belt of Venus. The shower favors the southern hemisphere because the point in the sky where the meteors appear to come from is in the constellation Aquarius, which is higher in the sky in the southern hemisphere. Active from April 19 to May 28, it is expected to be at its peak from Monday night into Tuesday morning, or May 4-5. The comet can be seen from Earth about every 76 years, but the particles that create the Eta Aquariid shower were shed hundreds of years ago. Visit Sunrise Sunset Calendars and check the astronomical twilight box. Image at top: Eta Aquariid meteors over the Atacama Desert in 2015, via Yuri Beletsky. why more Eta Aquariid meteors are visible in the Southern Hemisphere. This year’s Eta Aquariid shower is expected to have the most meteors before dawn on Tuesday, but EarthSky writer Bruce McClure said it is worth taking a look on days preceding and after the peak. Under ideal conditions, the Eta Aquariid meteor shower produces up to 20 to 40 meteors per hour.

This year – 2020 – the waxing gibbous moon will light up the sky most of the night, and you will probably see fewer meteors. But try the mornings before and after as well, as this meteor shower has a relatively broad peak. Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky's popular Tonight pages since 2004. The meteors are known for moving swiftly – about 148,000 mph. Read more. Like most meteors in annual showers, the Eta Aquariids are debris left behind by a comet, and, in this case, it’s a very famous comet indeed. And, as always for meteor-watching, be sure to avoid city lights …, Visit EarthSky’s Best Places to Stargaze page to find dark sky locations near you. Read more: Where’s the radiant point for the Eta Aquariid meteor shower? As the Eta Aquarid Meteors begin to flash across the sky, Spring is in full swing.

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower is expected to peak on Tuesday, but a nearly full moon could outshine the show.

Bottom line: In 2020, the Eta Aquariid meteor shower produces the most meteors before dawn on May 5, though in a moonlit sky. Halley’s comet meteor shower: Look to the sky week of May 4 But if you’re interested in locating it, use the Great Square of Pegasus to star-hop to the radiant of the Eta Aquariid meteor shower. Before dawn - May 4, 5 and 6, 2020 - meteors from the annual Eta Aquariid meteor shower will be will flying, though under the glaring light of the moon. Although the shower can be seen from all parts of Earth, the Eta Aquariids are especially fine from Earth’s Southern Hemisphere, and from the more southerly latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. “In the northern hemisphere, Eta Aquariid meteors can more often be seen as “earthgrazers,” according to NASA. The Eta Aquariids are one of two meteor showers from Halley’s comet. You don’t need to find the radiant of the Eta Aquariid shower to watch this meteor shower.

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