In 2020, the Eta Aquarids will peak on the night between May 5–6
May Meteor Shower
Also sometimes spelled as Eta Aquariid, the meteor shower is usually active between April 19 and May 28 every year.
Named After Aquarius
The radiant, the point in the sky where the Eta Aquarids seem to emerge from, is in the direction of the constellation Aquarius. The shower is named after the brightest star of the constellation, Eta Aquarii.
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.
What Time Does the Meteor Shower Peak?
The table is updated daily and shows the position of the Eta Aquarids radiant in the sky for the upcoming night. Use the date drop down above the Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map to change dates.
|Eta Aquarids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between May 5 and May 6)|
|Wed 3:00 am||94°||3.8°|
|Wed 4:00 am||103°||15.2°|
|Wed 5:00 am||114°||26.2°|
|Wed 6:00 am||127°||36.2°|
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.
How to See the Eta Aquarids
You don't need any special equipment or a lot of skills to view a meteor shower. Even though all you really need is a clear sky, lots of patience, and our handy Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map with a visibility conditions meter to see a meteor shower, the following tips can help maximize your shooting star viewing experience.
- Find a secluded viewing spot, away from the city lights. Once at the venue, your eyes may take 15 to 20 minutes to get used to the dark.
- Dress for the weather, and make sure you are comfortable, especially if you plan to stay out long. Bring a blanket or a comfortable chair with you—meteor watching can be a waiting game.
- Once you have found your viewing spot, lie down on the ground and look up in the direction of the radiant. Use our Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map or the table above to find the current direction of the radiant in the sky.