ATLANTA, GA — The Eta Aquarid meteor bathe peaks Saturday by means of Monday, May 5-7, with the potential for an extended stretch of capturing stars. But the long-range climate forecast for metro Atlanta suggests we’d get a little bit soggy making an attempt to have a look.
According to the National Weather Service, we’re in for some cloudy nights with an opportunity of showers throughout that point. Saturday night time shall be cloudy, with a 40 % probability of showers and thunderstorms, in line with the service.
There’s one other 20 % probability of showers Sunday night time, when it will likely be partly cloudy, whereas Monday night time brings one other partly cloudy forecast. There’s an opportunity of showers through the day on Monday however a minimum of there is no rain within the forecast for Monday night time, according to the NWS forecast.
At least we’re in a reasonably good location for the present.
Though the bathe favors the Southern Hemisphere, the Eta Aquarids are sometimes a good present that may produce as much as 30 meteors an hour north of the equator. The farther south you might be, the higher the views are. For instance, the present shall be extra dazzling in Miami than in New York or San Francisco.
As with most meteor showers, the most effective time to catch the Eta Aquarids is simply earlier than daybreak Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings. The meteors seem to originate from Eta Aquarii, one of many brightest stars within the constellation Aquarius, which will be seen at the moment of the yr.
For the best views of the Eta Aquarids, lie flat in your again going through east and search for so you may get a large view of the sky, Bill Cooke who leads NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, wrote in a weblog. These meteors are identified for his or her pace, touring about 148,000 mph, and may go away glowing “trains” — incandescent bits of particles within the wake of meteor. The trains can final for a number of seconds and even minutes.
Meteors are the product of leftover comet particles and damaged asteroids that go away a dusty path as they journey across the solar. As the Earth passes by means of these particles trails, the particles collide with our ambiance and disintegrate into fiery, colourful streaks within the sky.
The Eta Aquarids are produced by particles left from the comet 1P/Halley, which additionally produces the Orionids in October.
The Eta Aquarids seem to originate from Eta Aquarii, which is among the brightest stars within the constellation Aquarius, however they are often seen wherever within the sky. In mid-northern latitudes, the radiant level — the place they seem to originate — will not be excessive within the sky, so viewers will need to search out darkish skies with a transparent view of the southern horizon.
Dark skies away from metropolis mild air pollution are supreme, however among the brighter meteors, and even perhaps a couple of fireballs, must be seen from a suburban yard, in line with National Geographic.
There’s a hitch, although. A waning gibbous moon — that’s, one midway between full and quarter moon section — may block the faintest of the Eta Aquarid meteors.
JUPITER AND SATURN SHINE THIS MONTH
Still, do not abandon all hope of seeing one thing unbelievable within the sky. Even should you do not see many meteors, it is best to get an incredible view of Saturn and the moon becoming a member of within the japanese sky about an hour earlier than dawn, National Geographic reported.
“Early risers can watch the waning gibbous moon join the ringed planet in the eastern sky about an hour before local sunrise,” Andrew Fazekas wrote for the journal. “As an added observing challenge, look for a fainter naked-eye star below the cosmic pair. Lambda Sagittari marks the tip of the lid of the Teapot, a pattern of stars known as an asterism. Binoculars may help pinpoint all these stars nestled within the constellation Sagittarius, the archer.”
For extra planetary delight this month, Jupiter shall be at its brightest on the night time of May eight, when it formally reaches opposition — that’s on the alternative aspect of the solar. It would be the largest disc you may see within the sky, and it is seen from nightfall to daybreak. Jupiter shall be 5 million miles nearer to the Earth than it was in final yr’s opposition and must be “stunningly bright,” in line with National Geographic’s Fazekas, who mentioned an excellent pair of binoculars or a small telescope ought to reveal Jupiter’s massive moons.
Later this month, on the 17th, search for Venus about an hour after sundown.
UPCOMING METEOR SHOWERS
The subsequent meteor bathe would be the Delta Aquarids, which peak round July 28-29. Produced by particles left behind by the comets Marsden and Kracht, the bathe runs from July 12-Aug. 23. It’s a median present, producing about 20 meteors an hour at its peak, however an almost full moon shall be problematic. The meteors radiate from the constellation Aquarius, however will be seen from any location within the sky. The finest viewing instances are after midnight.
One of the most effective meteor showers of the yr — the Perseids — peaks Aug. 12-13. It sometimes produces from 60 to 100 meteors an hour at its peak. The meteors are traditionally brilliant, and this must be an important yr for skywatchers as a result of a skinny crescent moon ought to make for darkish skies. The Perseids are produced by the comet Swift-Tuttle, found in 1862. The meteors fall between the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia, however simply search for and it is best to be capable of see them from wherever within the sky.
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