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Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower 2022: When and How to Watch Eta Aquariids; Things You Should Know



Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower 2022 When and How to Watch Eta Aquariids Things You Should Know

Australian sky watchers will be blessed to receive a meteor and planet show this weekend as long as the skies are clear. The annual Eta Aquariid meteor shower should be visible on Saturday and Sunday morning from any place in Australia a couple of hours before sunrise. While the shower peaks on the weekend, you could likewise find some on Friday morning and early next week.

The heavens are providing us earthlings with a plentiful array of interesting things to see in the sky this month. The total lunar eclipse and planetary alignments would have been sufficient, yet there’s something else: Shooting stars from the Eta Aquarid meteor shower will streak across the sky this week.

Peak meteor-peeping begins this evening, Friday, May 6, yet it will go on into Saturday night, which is the peak viewing time of the current year’s Eta Aquarid show. You ought to in any case have the option to see a few shooting stars on Sunday and Monday, also.

Seeing conditions are amazing this year. A sliver of moon that sets moderately early guarantees a darker sky. Assuming you are in the Southern hemisphere, hope to see meteors exuding from the constellation Aquarius, explicitly from the star Eta Aquarii. However, ensure you move as far away from city lights as workable for the best viewing experience.

There’s a superb thing about sitting under the night sky, watching a meteor shower play out overhead. Be that as it may, observers in the southern hemisphere usually get the short end of the stick, with the vast majority of the best showers unequivocally inclining toward those north of the equator.

The Moon will have set before the point overhead where the meteors come from — known as the radiant — transcends the eastern horizon.

Furthermore, this year they will be not difficult to recognize with a stunning line-up of four bright planets guiding where toward look, amateur astronomer Ian Musgrave says.

“There’ll be lots of interesting sky candy just below where you’re looking for the Eta Aquariids.”

You’ll see Venus and Jupiter simply over the eastern horizon.

“If you follow the line between Venus and Jupiter up you’ll see red Mars, and the shower radiant should be just about where Mars is.”

Over that is the golden orb of Saturn.

Each May, in any case, southern observers get a special treat – the Eta Aquariid meteor shower. This year’s conditions vow to be great, creating it the best opportunity for some autumnal meteor observation.

The forecast peak during the current year’s Eta Aquariids falls on the morning of Saturday, May 7. The Moon is well far removed, so meteors won’t be lost in its glare.

Yet, imagine a scenario in which skies are cloudy. Indeed, assuming you miss the morning of the peak, don’t panic! The Eta Aquariids are renowned for their expansive peak, and meteor rates regularly stay high for about a week around the peak (May 4-11). So if Saturday morning is cloudy, try looking again on Sunday, or even Monday.

To get the best view, you’ll want to get up in the early hours of the morning and be well away from any bright city lights. Give your eyes time to acclimate to the darkness. Take a seat or chair to get comfortable, relax and look skywards.

You will not require a telescope! To best observe meteor showers, you’ll want to look as wide an area of sky as could be expected. Using a telescope or binoculars would make the display exceptionally difficult to observe.

How many meteors will I see?

The Eta Aquariids is one of the most amazing meteor showers in the southern hemisphere, second only to the Geminids in December, says Jonti Horner, a cosmologist at the University of Southern Queensland.

Every year Earth goes through a stream of debris set somewhere around Halley’s Comet, with the meteors showing up from a point in the constellation of Aquarius in May and Orion in October (also known as the Orionids).

“The Eta Aquariids are a better shower than the Orionids because we’re passing more towards the middle of the debris stream, so we get much better numbers,” Professor Horner says.

Meteor rates will be reliably great any place you are in Australia, however the further north you are, the better.

“From most of Australia, on the morning of the 7th and 8th, we’ll see around about 20 meteors per hour,” Dr. Musgrave says.

“For those of us who are up near Darwin and Cairns and places like that, it will be closer to 24 meteors per hour.”

What’s more, good news on the off chance that the weather conditions are risky: the Eta Aquariids have an expansive peak, so they are likewise apparent for a few days before and after the weekend.

“You’re not missing out if it’s cloudy because [meteor] rates tend to stay high for a couple of days either side of maximum before falling off,” Professor Horner says.

The show begins once the radiant rises above the horizon around 3 am, and gets progressively better towards dawn until the meteors are cleaned out in the twilight.

You’ll see more if you are somewhere away from the city lights, yet you can in any case see some from the suburbs, Dr. Musgrave says.

“You see plenty that is bright enough that are easily visible to the unaided eye.”

The Eta Aquariids are the second best shower of the year for individuals in Australia. They can put on a spectacular show – yet don’t expect to see meteors falling like snowflakes.

Whenever the radiant first rises above the horizon, at around 1.30 am, meteors from the shower will be rare. Assuming you see five or six Eta Aquariids in that first hour, you ought to likely count yourself lucky.

All things considered, these early meteors could be truly tremendous. Known as “Earth grazers”, they frequently appear to streak from almost one horizon as far as possible across the sky. Earth grazers are the consequence of meteors hitting our atmosphere at an exceptionally shallow angle, nearly edge on. They’re uncommon, yet inconceivable to observe!

As the night goes on, and the radiant ascensions higher out of sight, the number of meteors ought to increment. In the hour before dawn, you could without much of a stretch see 20 to 30 meteors each hour.

Gracious, and a word of warning: meteors are like buses – on the off chance that you’re expecting 30 every hour, you can easily wait ten minutes and don’t see anything before three come along at once. Ensure you dress warm so you can remain under the stars for 30 minutes, while possibly not more!

Where should I look?

At the point when dust left behind by a comet smashes into Earth’s atmosphere, it becomes a spectacular fiery streak of light high in the sky. This generally occurs around 80km above the ground, albeit the biggest bits of debris can penetrate pretty deep into the atmosphere before catching fire altogether.

The dust grains in a meteor shower all move around the Sun at basically a similar speed and in a similar direction. This implies the grains are likewise traveling in the same direction as they hit the Earth.

However, as they move towards a spectator on the ground, that observer’s viewpoint will make their ways separate, and they will appear to be radiating out from a single point in the sky. That point is known as a shower’s “radiant”.

Meteors showers are named for the constellation wherein their radiant lies. So the Eta Aquariids have a radiant close to the star Eta Aquarii – the 10th brightest star in Aquarius.

To see the Eta Aquariids, you’ll need to wait until the radiant rises – before that, the body of the Earth disrupts everything. We’re lucky here in the southern hemisphere, as the Eta Aquariid radiant rises in the east at around 1:30 to 2 am, local time.

While the Eta Aquariid meteors should be visible anyplace overhead, the best spot to see the best number of meteors is around 45 degrees to the left or right of the radiant itself.

Luckily, this year we have one more awesome sight in the morning sky. Four planets – Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus – will be in every way in a line. To see the best meteor show, look around 45 degrees to the left or right of this line of planets.

To see how the planets and radiant will rise from your location, visit the Stellarium planetarium website, set your location, and push the date and time ahead to the morning of May 7. On the off chance that you turn on the “constellations” and “constellations art” (at the bottom of the screen), you can watch Aquarius and the planets rising from the comfort of your computer.

How to get the best view

Firstly, you need to get comfortable. You’ll be outside for some time since meteors don’t arrive in a regular pattern, so rug up and take a set-up camp chair.

You really want nothing exceptional to see the meteor shower, yet you could get a kick out of the chance to take a telescope or binoculars to get a decent perspective on the planets while you are waiting.

Be that as it may, assuming you in all actuality do take binoculars or a telescope, you should be cautious, Dr. Musgrave says.

“If you’re spending all your time looking through the telescope you’ll miss the meteors; it’s a bit hard to do both.”

To get meteors, you want to scan the sky as opposed to gaze at one spot.

“Let your eyes move around because even though the radiant is at the point where the meteors appear to originate from, most of them start burning or glowing away from that point,” Dr. Musgrave says.

Focus (because these meteors are fast) and search for faint vapor trails.

“They’re quite swift and they can produce persistent trails when the meteor goes past … sometimes high-altitude winds will twist these trails into interesting shapes,” Dr. Musgrave says.

Eta Aquarid meteors — remnants of Haley’s Comet

The only comet that should be visible twice in a person’s lifetime, Haley’s comet is apparent on earth each 75-76 years. The last time we could see it was in 1986, however, we see what it left behind two times per year.

Comets, as they travel through space, abandon trails of debris, particles around the size of pebbles or grains of sand. This eventually spreads out along the comet’s orbital way. Two times every year, Earth goes through the debris field left by Haley’s Comet — once in middle to late October and once toward the start of May. As we pass over Haley’s path, some of the particles end up drawn to Earth, and they’re consuming in our atmosphere bringing us shooting stars.

In other words, the universe has gone into a great difficult situation to get this going. The least you could do is step outside and take a look.

Dust and debris from a famous comet

As the Earth orbits the Sun, it continually runs into dust and debris from comets and asteroids. Each April and May, the Earth spends about six weeks crossing a river of dust left behind by the popular Comet 1P/Halley.

Every 76 years or so, Comet Halley swings near the Sun. Its cold surface warms up until the ices boil off into space in a process called “sublimation”. This covers the comet in a gaseous coma, which is blown away from the Sun to create the comet’s tail.

The gas getting away from Halley’s surface carries dust grains, which gradually spread around the comet’s orbit. Some push forward of the comet, while others lag.

For more than millennia, the space around Halley’s orbit has become thick with dust grains. The comet is traveling through a dirty snowstorm through its effort! Also, every year, the Earth runs through that expansive river of dust – bringing forth the Eta Aquariid meteor shower.

Curiously, the Earth runs into Halley’s debris again in October, producing the renowned Orionid meteor shower. However, we get a superior show in May every year with the Eta Aquariids, as this is the point at which we move closer to the center of the dust stream.

More meteor showers to watch out for in 2022

After the Eta Aquariids, one more nine meteor showers will illuminate our skies in 2022. Here is a list of the remaining showers to look at during the current year 2022:

  • Southern delta Aquariids: July 29 to 30
  • Alpha Capricornids: July 30 to 31
  • Perseids: August 11 to 12
  • Orionids: October 20 to 21
  • Southern Taurids: November 4 to 5
  • Northern Taurids: November 11 to 12
  • Leonids: November 17 to 18
  • Geminids: December 13 to 14
  • Ursids: December 21 to 22

Lunar and solar eclipses 2022

There will likewise be a total lunar eclipse visible in Australia in 2022. It will be on display for those in Australia, Asia, the Pacific, South America, and North America on November 8 between 6.01 pm AEDT and 11.58 am AEDT.

A lunar eclipse can happen just during a full moon when the sun, Earth, and moon align, and the moon passes into Earth’s shadow.

Earth creates two shadows on the moon during the eclipse. The penumbra is the partial outer shadow, and the umbra is the full, dark shadow.

At the point when the full moon moves into Earth’s shadow, it darkens, yet it will not disappear.

Sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere dramatically lights the moon, turning it red – which is the reason this event is frequently referred to as a “blood moon”.

Contingent upon the weather conditions in your area, the moon might seem rusty, brick-colored, or blood red.

This variety fluctuation happens because blue light goes through more grounded air dissipating, so red light will be the most dominant color featured as sunlight passes through our atmosphere and projects it onto the moon.

Full moons 2022

Eight full moons are coming up soon in 2022, with two of them qualifying as supermoons. Here is a list of the remaining moons this year, as per the Farmers’ Almanac:

  • May 16: Flower moon
  • June 14: Strawberry moon
  • July 13: Buck moon
  • August 11: Sturgeon moon
  • September 10: Harvest moon
  • October 9: Hunter’s moon
  • November 8: Beaver moon
  • December 7: Cold moon

Sadly for us, the eclipse may be noticeable from North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia.

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