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Set your eyes to the sky Thursday morning to view the Eta Aquariid meteor shower

Calling all early risers! See if you can catch the Eta Aquariid meteor shower before dawn Thursday morning.
Calling all early risers! Head outside early Thursday morning to see if you can spot the Eta...
Calling all early risers! Head outside early Thursday morning to see if you can spot the Eta Aquariid meteor shower.(KBTX)
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 5:34 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Planning on getting up early Thursday or just want to have a little bit of fun? Step outside to see if you can catch the Eta Aquariid meteor shower!

Viewing Conditions:

The best time to view the passing meteors is an hour or two before dawn. Dawn in B/CS is officially at 6:11am (sunrise at 6:37am) Thursday morning, so heading out a few hours beforehand will provide the best viewing & lighting conditions to spot the meteors in the southeastern sky. Speaking of lighting conditions - those look to sit in pretty good shape as the 33% illuminated moon shouldn’t interfere with any of those viewing plans too much. We’ll keep the clear skies on hand through the overnight hours as well with temperatures falling into the upper 50s ahead of sunrise.

What to Expect:

Although this particular meteor shower is generally more prevalent in the Southern Hemisphere due to a later sunrise (and isn’t the best one we’ll find this year), the mid-northern latitudes of the globe can still pick up on about 10 meteors per hour with this shower.

Viewing Tips:

If you are planning on checking it out, it’s suggested to give yourself at least an hour window of viewing time to watch any meteor shower, as meteors often come in spurts and it can take up to 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the darkness of the night sky. Don’t worry about grabbing the binoculars or telescope for this one, you won’t need any special equipment to find the meteors!

Where does it come from?

Meteor showers can be fun to watch for those of all ages, but where does this particular meteor shower originate from? Believe it or not, the source is Halley’s comet! Each year, Earth crosses the orbital path of Halley’s comet in April or May, and lingering pieces of the comet act as Eta Aquariid meteors. Similarly, the Earth also passes the orbital path later in the year, which is why we often see the Orionid meteor shower in October.

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