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2015 Eta Aquarids meteor shower

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower will peak on May 5-6 in 2015. A waning gibbous Moon (the Moon's phase after a full Moon) will make it hard for observers to see the shower. Astronomers suggest watching the shower before dawn.

Illustration image
Eta Aquarids peak in early May
Eta Aquarids is one of the two meteor showers associated with Halley's comet.
©iStockphoto.com/ Maltaguy1

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower is usually active between April 19 and May 28 every year. It tends to peak around May 6 or May 7.

The Eta Aquarids seem to radiate from the direction of the constellation Aquarius in the sky. The shower is named after the brightest star of the constellation, Eta Aquarii.

The Eta Aquarids is one of the two meteor showers associated with Halley’s Comet. The Earth passes for a second time through Halley's path around the Sun in October. This creates the Orionid meteor shower, which peaks around October 20.

Where to view the Eta Aquarids

Observers anywhere in the world can view the Eta Aquarids meteor shower.

When to view the Eta Aquarids

The best time to view the Eta Aquarids is in the early mornings, right before dawn.

Location in the sky tonight

Slight chance to see Eta Aquarids, table below is updated daily and shows position for coming night.
Eta Aquarids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between Apr 21 and Apr 22)
Wed 4:00 AM96°East5.8°
Wed 5:00 AM106°East-southeast17.1°
Direction to see the Eta Aquarids in the sky:
  • Azimuth is the direction, based on true north, a compass might show a slightly different value.
  • Altitude is height in degrees over horizon.
Note that this is not the prime period to watch the Eta Aquarids, so there may be few or no meteors visible this night.
Set your location

How to view the Eta Aquarids

There isn’t a lot of skill involved in watching a meteor shower. Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for the Eta Aquarids:

  • Get out of the city to a place where city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
  • If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with the naked eye.
  • Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you - viewing meteors, just like any other kind of star gazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can’t see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.
  • Check the weather and moonrise and moonset timings for your location before you leave, and plan your viewing around it.

Topics: Astronomy, Meteors, Moon, May

In this Article


Meteor Showers

  1. January 2016: Quadrantids
  2. April 2015: Lyrids
  3. May 2015: Eta Aquarids
  4. August 2015: Perseids
  5. October 2015: Draconids
  6. October 2015: Orionids
  7. November 2015: Leonids
  8. December 2015: Geminids
  9. December 2015: Ursids

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