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Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower in 2018

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak on May 6, 2018. 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 2018, it will peak on 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 η-Aquariids meteor shower is not visible at this time of year. Maximum for the shower is on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 3:53 am; the table below is for that night:

η-Aquariids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between May 5 and May 6)
TimeAzimuth/DirectionAltitude
Sun 3:00 am94°East3.5°
Sun 4:00 am103°East-southeast14.9°
Sun 5:00 am114°East-southeast26.0°
Note: times are for May 6, 2018. Set your location

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, May

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Meteor Showers Library

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

What Is a Meteor Shower?

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