You don’t need binoculars or a telescope to observe the Eta Aquarids; eyes alone provide the widest field of view. Just head to a dark location and look up toward the constellation Aquarius the Water-bearer. (“Dark” skies are at least 40 miles [60km] away from light-polluted cities.) Bring lawn chairs to ease neck strain, and don’t forget the blankets — observing is a sedentary activity, and you’ll get cold easily despite the springtime temperatures.
The radiant will climb higher in the sky for observers near the equator and in the Southern Hemisphere, so they should expect to see the peak number of meteors. Observers in mid-northern latitudes will see closer to one-third of the maximum.Fast facts:
- At 148,000 mph (238,000 km/h), Eta Aquarid meteors are the second fastest of any annual shower. Only the Leonids of November hit our atmosphere faster, at 159,000 mph (256,000 km/h).
- The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is one of two that derives from Comet Halley’s debris. The other is the Orionid shower, which peaks in October.