POSTED 6:18 AM, MAY 3, 2017, BY TRIBUNE MEDIA WIRE
With all the buzz about the total solar eclipse this summer, some may have forgotten that a meteor shower is set to peak this week.
The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower is usually active between April 19 and May 28. This year, it will peak around May 5 or May 6.
The best time to view the shower will be during the early morning of May 6, just before dawn, NASA Meteoroid Environment Office lead Bill Cooke told Space.com. Cooke said as many as 30 meteors per hour can be expected.
People living in the Northern Hemisphere should look toward the southern horizon. People in the Southern Hemisphere should look north. People living near the equator, or even as far as Gulf Coast cities, will get the best views of the shower.
Want to see the shower without hurting your neck? Experts say you should lie on your back – not only will it give you the most expansive view of the sky, but no neck-craning is necessary.
Where did the Eta Aquarid meteor shower come from?
The Eta Aquarids is one of two meteor showers created by debris from Halley’s Comet. Meteor showers happen when dust grains burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.
The Earth will pass through Halley’s path a second time this year. This creates the Orionid meteor shower, which peaks around October 20.
Halley’s Comet takes around 76 years to make a complete revolution around the sun. The next time it will be visible from Earth is in 2061.
APRIL 2017 Viewable Stars, Planets & Constellations:
MERCURY, MARS & JUPITER! Stellar Nurseries, Nebulae, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Orion, Sirius, Leo, Ursa Major, Virgo, False Cross, Southern Cross, Meteor Showers.
April 1 – Mercury in West until 4/15/17
April 3 – Half Moon
April 6 – Jupiter at opposition in East
April 10 – Full Moon! Hubble telescope visible in W at 8:18pm
April 11 – Hubble telescope visible in W at 8:08pm – Moon rises 7:25pm
April 12 – Dark skies return Hubble 7:58pm
April 13 – Hubble 7:48pm in W
April 14 – Hubble 7:38pm in W
April 15 – Hubble 7:28pm in W
April 18 – 3rd Quarter Moon – Dark skies
April 22 – Lyrids Meteor Shower
April 26 – New Moon
Astronomical mind blower!
The Universe Has 10 Times More Galaxies Than Scientists Thought
Aloha astronomy lovers!
This Friday 9/30/16 is a Black Moon and Friday 10/7/16 is IfA Open House!
No reason to fear Friday’s “black moon”
On Friday a relatively rarewill take place – a shadowy phenomenon known as the “black moon.” Yes, it sounds apocalyptic, but a “black moon” is nothing bad.
And while it will rise above the Western Hemisphere, there won’t really be anything to see.
What is it? A “black moon” is simply a spooky nickname for the secondto fall in a calendar month. A “black moon” occurs about once every 32 months.
While a full moon happens when the moon’s Earth-facing side is fully illuminated by the sun, a new moon is when the side we see is fully covered in shadow. As a result, the new moon is basically invisible to Earthlings looking up at the sky.
This “black moon” officially occurs at 8:11 p.m. EST on Sept. 30, 2016. (3:11 p.m. Hawaii Time)
For those in the, it will already be after midnight on Oct. 1. To make things a little complicated, since it won’t be the second new moon in a calendar month on that side of the globe, it doesn’t qualify as a “black moon” there. However, the Eastern Hemisphere will get one at the end of October.
The appearance of a crescent moon a few days after this new moon will usher in the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, beginning Sunday evening Oct. 2, and the Islamic New Year, Muharram, on Monday, Oct. 3 – two holidays guided by the lunar calendar.