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Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower in 2016

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower will peak on May 6-7 in 2016. A new Moon on May 6 will create favorable conditions for observers to see the shower. Astronomers suggest watching the shower just 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

When Can I See the Eta Aquarids

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

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

Sunrise and Sunset in my City

Dust From Halley's Comet

The Eta Aquarids is one of two meteor showers created by debris from Comet Halley. 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.

Halley takes around 76 years to make a complete revolution around the Sun. It will next be visible from Earth 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, 2016, table below is for that date:
Eta Aquarids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between May 5 and May 6)
Fri 3:00 AM96°East5.4°
Fri 4:00 AM105°East-southeast16.8°
Fri 5:00 AM117°East-southeast27.7°
Note: times are for May 5, 2016.
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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

In This Article


Meteor Showers Library

  1. April 2016: Lyrids
  2. May 2016: Eta Aquarids
  3. August 2016: Perseids
  4. October 2016: Draconids
  5. October 2016: Orionids
  6. November 2016: Leonids
  7. December 2016: Geminids
  8. December 2016: Ursids
  9. January 2017: Quadrantids

What is a Meteor Shower?

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