The meteor shower is actually produced by flakes of dust or rock particles from Halley's Comet as Earth passes through a stream of debris left behind by the comet. The eta Aquarid name is derived because the meteors appear to be emanating from the constellation Aquarius in the eastern sky.
The best viewing time will be in the wee hours Tuesday morning before the sun's rays start to lighten the sky prior to dawn. Viewing will be best if looking in the eastern to southeastern sky, so a location with a clear view of the east-southeast horizon is best. Though the meteors could be anywhere in the sky, their tails will all point back towards Aquarius in the east. Up to 10-20 meteors per hour could be visible. SpaceWeather.com says there is a decent chance of meteors of the "Earthgrazer" variety, which are widely known for their beauty - slowly skimming horizontally in a dramatic approach. The best time for Earthgrazers is 2:00-2:30am.
|The best viewing for meteors tonight will be low in the eastern sky. Graphic courtesy UniverseToday.com|
If you miss the meteor shower tonight, there will be one more opportunity at the same time and location on Wednesday morning. Let us know if you make it out and see any meteors!
Follow MWN on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Visit MemphisWeather.net on the web or m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!