Spectacular meteor shower will light up the night sky over the weekend

The Eta Aquarids, one of the most beautiful meteor showers of the year, will be visible in Hungary at dawn on Sunday. A small meteor shower is expected this year and another similar one is unlikely until 2046, reports the Svábhegy Observatory (in Budapest).

The meteors observed during the Eta Aquarids are known for their speed, reaching about 66 km/s and then suddenly decelerating as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. This year, the meteor shower will peak at dawn on Sunday.

Instead of an average of 25 meteors, up to 60 can be seen per hour.

The observatory says it won’t be difficult to spot the shooting stars because Earth’s celestial companion will be around the new moon phase, with a lunar crescent of less than six percent. Therefore, the most intense downpour is expected from 2:30 a.m., between 3 and 4 a.m., when the radiant will be above the horizon.

It will be worth looking east across the sky and enjoying the spectacle of May’s shooting stars from a rural, dark point of view with a good horizon. Even if it is not clear at dawn on Sunday, do not be discouraged, because the maximum of the Eta Aquarids is prolonged, so

A strong meteor shower can be seen in the early morning hours, both before and a day or two after.


Eta Aquarids is the fourth most intense meteor shower of the year and peaks in early May each year. The main object of the meteor swarm is Halley’s Comet. Halley’s Comet orbits the Sun every 76 years on average. Its oldest historical record is believed to date back to 467 BC. It last approached Earth in 1986 and will return in 2061.

Halley’s comet in 1986. Photo: Wikipedia/NASA/W. liler

Earth’s orbit intersects the comet’s orbit twice a year, creating two showers of shooting stars. The most intense swarm is the Eta Aquarids in May along the descending cluster, and the other is the Orionids in late October along the ascending cluster, only a third as active.

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Via MTI, Featured image: Wikipedia/ESO/P. Horalek