Halley’s Aquarids

Halley’s Comet hasn’t visited Earth since 1986 but her dust arrives like clockwork every year. Peaking May 5-6, the eta Aquarid meteor shower promises diligent sky-watchers in both hemispheres a reliable show. Southern hemispheres win the Aquarid toss with roughly double the pleasure – 60 vs. 30 per hour. Halley herself returns in July of 2061.

The radiant point is constellation Aquarius, hence the name Aquarid. Aquarius doesn’t rise much above the horizon in northern hemisphere skies during May, the reason for fewer visible bursts of light. Not to be discouraged, low horizon meteors often appear as “Earth-grazers” – slow, horizontal, lingering manifestations of cosmic ass kickery.

I can’t promise fireworks, but if you happen to rise before dawn – take a moment to gaze at the sky.


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