Eta Aquarids meteor shower to peak this week

Posted at 7:51 AM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 07:55:13-04

Set your alarm clocks early Thursday morning for one of the best light shows of the year.

NASA says the Eta Aquarids meteor shower will peak during daylight hours across the United States.

Experts say slightly higher rates are likely overnight May 4 to May 5, rather than on May 5 to May 6, but the shower's broad peak means that both nights will have meteors.

The Eta Aquarid meteors originate from the famous Halley’s Comet and are visible from April 19 to May 28. 

During peak activity of May 5, star gazers can see about 10-20 meteors per hour.

A fun fact, the meteors are traveling about 44 miles per second!

Fast meteors can leave glowing "trains," which last for several seconds to minutes.

NASA viewing tips

  • To view the Eta Aquarids, find an area well away from city or street lights.
  • Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.
  • Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.
  • After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors.
  • Be patient -- the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.