Thursday, May 6, 2010

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower, Clouds, Rain, and - Snow?!

"Meteor Shower Created by Halley's Comet Peaks Thursday"
Space.com (May 5, 2010)

NASA, via Space.com"It's been 24 years since Halley's Comet last passed through the inner solar system, but remnants from the icy wanderer will light up the dawn sky this week in the Eta Aquarid meteor shower.

"The meteor shower is predicted to peak early on Thursday morning, May 6. Under ideal conditions (a dark, moonless sky) about 40 of these very swift meteors can be seen per hour. The shower appears at about one-quarter peak strength for about three or four days before and after May 6.

"The famous Halley's Comet takes roughly 76 years to circle the sun and last passed through our cosmic neighborhood in 1986. Halley's orbit closely approaches the Earth's orbit in two spots, offering two chances each year to see meteor showers left over from the comet's cosmic 'litter.'..."

Thursday? Hey! That's today! The Lemming is late for this meteor shower: but maybe you can catch it tomorrow morning - at around one-quarter the intensity.

We won't be seeing the Eta Aquarid meteor shower here in central Minnesota: unless someone charters an airplane to get above the clouds. We're expecting rain today: and snow tomorrow.

I know: it's May. And this is Minnesota.

3 comments:

PositivePounders said...

I was really hopeful to see lots of comets, but probably saw no more than 3on Saturday.

PositivePounders.org said...

It was very overcast here but I saw about 3 comets on Sunday around 4:45 am.

Brian Gill said...

I've seen one comet in my life, Positive Ponders - and not likely to do so again. The area I live in now is very well-lit at night - compared to the North Dakota/Minnesota border where I grew up.

(Sorry about the excessive delay in responding - the Lemming finally realized that this blog's comments were - - - - yeah, sorry about that.)

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