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RE: eta Aquarids meteor shower
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Beginning Saturday morning, May 3, 2008, and lasting for five nights of strong viewing, the Eta Aquarids will provide some of the best viewing of meteors in the Southern Hemisphere. You will also see some in the lower latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
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Be on the lookout for a rush of meteors before dawn Monday morning. That's when the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower reaches maximum activity. Seeing the shower with no interference from the Moon is nice, but there's a possible bonus. Astronomers think the Eta Aquarids could produce more than twice the usual number of meteors.
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Earthlings will be able to view a meteorite shower produced by the Halleys Comet in the wee hours on Sunday. The shower will be visible across all time zones.

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Halley's Meteors
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Bits of Halley's Comet will streak into the Earth's atmosphere before dawn on Sunday during the peak of the eta Aquarid meteor shower. Although moonlight will make all but the brightest meteors impossible to see, those that are visible may be quite spectacular due to the geometry of the shower.
Halley's Comet last swung by the Earth in 1986 and now lies in the outer solar system. But every time it passes near the Sun on its 76-year orbit, the nucleus of the icy object sheds about 6 metres of material, which spreads out along the comet's orbit. Twice a year, the Earth runs into this dusty detritus, producing the eta Aquarids in May and the Orionids in October.
The Earth will slam into the trail in the hours before dawn on Sunday for viewers in any time zone. The meteors can appear in any part of the sky, but their trails appear to originate near the star eta Aquarii in the constellation Aquarius, the water bearer, which gives the shower its name.
 
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Halley's Comet
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Earth is entering a stream of dust from Halley's Comet, and this will produce a meteor shower (the "eta Aquarids") peaking on May 6th. Unfortunately, moonlight will interfere with the display, wiping out all but the brightest meteors. People who wake up before dawn on Sunday and look east might nevertheless catch a few specks of Halley's comet disintegrating in Earth's atmosphere.

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RE: eta Aquarids meteor shower
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aquarids_north2007
The eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this year on Sunday, May 6th. The best time to look, no matter where you live, is during the hours immediately before sunrise on Sunday morning. As usual, you will see more meteors from the dark countryside. Get away from city lights! Unfortunately, there is one source of light you cannot escape: the gibbous Moon. Glaring moonlight will wipe out all but the brightest eta Aquarids in 2007.

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-- Edited by Blobrana at 20:43, 2007-05-03

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Hum,
Clouded out?
you can listen to the meteors...

Realtime NAVSPASUR audio stream

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Earth is starting to pass through a stream of dust from Halley's Comet, to produce the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower.
It peaks before sunrise on Saturday morning, (6:00 UT) May 6th.
The duration of the meteor shower covers the period of April 21 to May 12.
The shower is favourably placed in 2006, with the moon being at First Quarter on May 5 and thus setting before the radiant rises.


RA=337.5 deg, DEC=-1.3 deg

Expected meteor rates of about 5 - 10 per hour in the northern hemisphere, and 20 - 60 per hour in the southern hemisphere.
Eta Aquarid meteoroids are fast, travelling at 66 km/s, and often leave persistent trains. Typical the meteors are as bright as a 3rd magnitude star (2.4 - 3.1mag). It is best to observe them away from the glow of city lights.
The radiant is located in the north portion of the constellation Aquarius.
The shower is named after the 4th-magnitude star in the constellation, near which the radiant appears.

There are strong similarities between the orbits of the meteor stream and Halley's Comet. However, notable differences between several of the elements indicate this stream is probably not a recent product of this comet.



Halley's Comet has a retrograde orbit inclined at 162.2 degrees. As a result the meteoroid dust and the earth approach one another head on, and at high speed.
The periodic comet Halley also produces the Orionids of October.

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On May 5th the Earth will to pass through a stream of dust originating from Halley's Comet; So look to the east before dawn and watch for the eta Aquarids meteor shower.

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