Sat, 06 May 2017 (6 days away)
Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Meteor Showers feed
The η–Aquarid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 6 May 2017. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 24 Apr to 20 May.
The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible is around 40 per hour (ZHR). However, this assumes a perfectly dark sky and that the radiant of the meteor shower is directly overhead. In practice, the number of meteors you are likely to see is lower than this, and can be calculated from the ZHR formula.
From Washington (click to change), the radiant of the shower will appear 36° below your north-eastern horizon at midnight. This means the shower will be unobservable, as the radiant will be below the horizon.
The radiant of the η–Aquarid meteor shower is at around right ascension 22h30m, declination -01°, as shown by the green cross on the planetarium above. All of the meteors will appear to be travelling directly outward from this point, as indicated by the white lines drawn above.
The Moon will be 10 days old at the time of peak activity, and being so close to Full Moon will severely limit the observations that will be possible.
To see the most meteors, the best place to look is not directly at the radiant itself, but at any dark patch of sky which is around 30–40° away from it. It is at a distance of around this distance from the radiant that meteors will show reasonably long trails without being too spread out.
|The sky on 06 May 2017|
All times shown in MDT.
The Handbook of the British Astronomical Association.
An artistic depiction of the Leonid meteor storm seen over North America on the night of November 12-13, 1833, Edmund Weiss