A meteor shower made by Halley’s Comet will peak on Tuesday morning and will be easily viewable in a dark, clear sky. The meteor shower is made up of dust and debris that will fall from the tail of the comet.
As these particles fall to earth and enter the atmosphere, they will light up and streak across the sky. Haley’s comet last went through the inner solar system in 1986 and will not be back until 2061. Although the comet is not near earth, when it comes close to the sun, the particles and dust fall off of its tail and create the shower.
The spring meteor shower is called the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Another meteor shower will occur in October and is called the Orionid meteor shower.
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be most visible early Tuesday morning, but may also be able to be seen in some areas on Monday night. If you are hoping to see a few meteors, make sure you turn off all your inside and outside lights off or move to an area near your home that is dark.
If you live in the city, you may need to go to a more rural area to get a good view of the meteors as the city lights can stop you from seeing them.
If you plan to watch the meteor shower, be sure to check out the meteor shower webcast. Astronomer Bob Berman will be providing commentary and you can watch the meteor shower right on your computer or tablet.
“What makes this shower somewhat special is that the meteors stem from the most famous comet in all of history, Comet Halley,” Berman said in a statement. “As Halley goes around the sun in its 76-year orbit, pieces of it, little chunks of ice, slough off the comet and we intersect that every year around this time, in early May.”
Are you planning to watch the meteor shower tonight or tomorrow and where is your favorite spot to view it?
Image via Wikimedia Commons