Eta Aquarid 2019: Meteor shower peaks TONIGHT - ‘Look towards the Water Jar'


These meteors earned their unusual moniker Eta Aquarid because they appear to arrive from the Aquarius constellation.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower will light up the heavens this weekend, and for once, it looks like you'll have a chance of seeing it - as the the weather forecast is clear skies across most of the UK.

Aquarius is higher up in the sky in the Southern Hemisphere than in the Northern Hemisphere, where they more often than not are seen as earthgrazers.

This year will be a particularly good year for the Eta Aquarids as the peak of the shower coincides with the new moon, meaning that dimmer meteors will be easier to see due to the lack of moonlight.

They're also best viewed in Australia because they rise to about 50 degrees in the sky, which is the best angle to view them from.

The Southern Hemisphere is expected to see anywhere from 30-60 meteors per hour.

"Its good to get out there earlier, there could be some that comes up and across from the horizon", Ms Bailey said.

'You don't want a telescope, you don't want binoculars, you don't want to be zooming in on any part of the sky.

"It's the ideal stargazing activity to begin with because you don't need equipment, except maybe a blanket and a thermos".

Halley's comet only grazes the Earth's orbit every 75 years.

The origins of the Eta Aquarids can be traced back to debris and dust left behind by one of the most famous comets in recent times.

It may be the closest some people get to observing the comet itself.

The last time it was visible from Earth was 1986, and it is next expected to pass by in 2061.

But if you do not, Ms Kenyon said you will have a better view later in the morning.

If you blink, you'll miss it.

"Last night's shower was possibly visible throughout the whole North Island, it was quite cloudy in Wellington so we couldn't really see it unfortunately", Darwen said.