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The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower Peaks TONIGHT

66 The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower Peaks TONIGHT
David Kingham / Flickr CC

In the midst of Cinco de Mayo celebrations, the Eta Aquarid meteor shower will streak overhead with the “leftover flakes” of Halley's Comet, according to a press release by the Slooh Observatory.

Humans have beheld the light of Halley’s Comet zipping across the night sky since at least 239 B.C., but it wasn’t until 1705 that its periodicity was discovered by Edmond Halley. The Eta Aquarid meteors are the rocky remnants and debris from the famous comet.

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“In practice, these very fast annual meteors normally produce about one every four minutes, and SLOOH will have the correct equipment to capture them,” said astronomer Bob Berman. Unfortunately, bright moonlight will reduce the number of comets that are visible this year. 

“The Eta Aquarids on average are quite speedy and enter the atmosphere at 66 km/s (148,000 mph),” according to Slooh. Currently, those in the southern hemisphere will have the best view. For more information on locations and times, click here.

The live broadcast will be accompanied by a radio audio feed, so you can listen to Slooh host Eric Edelman and astronomers Bob Berman and Will Gater while keeping an eye out for meteors. The broadcast will also allow viewers to use the hashtag #MeteordeMayo to ask questions that will be answered live on the air.

The live broadcast will begin on May 5, 2015, at 5:00 PM PDT / 8:00 PM EDT / 00:00 UTC (5/6) - International Times.

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Image Credit: David Kingham / Flickr CC


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