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Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower in 2017

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak on May 5 and May 6, 2017. It will be easiest to see the shooting stars just before dawn.

Illustration image

Eta Aquarids peak in early May

The shooting stars in the Eta Aquarids are debris from Halley's comet.

©iStockphoto.com/ Maltaguy1

When Can I See the Eta Aquarids

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is usually active between April 19 and May 28 every year. In 2017, it will peak around May 5 or May 6.

The best time to see shooting stars from the Eta Aquarid meteor shower is in the early morning, just before dawn.

Dust From Halley's Comet

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

Comet Halley takes around 76 years to make a complete revolution around the Sun. The next time it will be visible from Earth is in 2061.

Where Can I See the Eta Aquarids?

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.

You can be anywhere in the world and see the Eta Aquarids meteor shower, the table below shows the exact direction of the Orionids from your location.

Location in the Sky

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower is not visible at this time of year. The best date is around May 5, 2017, table below is for that date:
Eta Aquarids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between May 5 and May 6)
TimeAzimuth/DirectionAltitude
Sat 3:00 AM95°East5.2°
Sat 4:00 AM105°East-southeast16.6°
Sat 5:00 AM116°East-southeast27.5°
Note: times are for May 5, 2017.
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How to Watch Meteor Showers

  • Check the weather: Meteors, or shooting stars, are easy to spot; all you need is clear skies and a pair of eyes.
  • Get out of town: Find a place as far away as possible from artificial lights.
  • Prepare to wait: Bring something to sit or lie down on. Star gazing is a waiting game, so get comfortable.

Topics: Astronomy, Meteors, Comets

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