Starwatch Blog: Eta Aquariids meteor shower peaks along with our last Full Super Moon of the year


Starwatch Blog for Monday, May 4 – Sunday, May 10, 2020

This week in the sky the Eta Aquariids meteor shower peaks, the last Full Supermoon of the year occurs, and it is Venus’ last month for a while of being visible. 

The Eta Aquariids have been flying across our sky every now and then since mid April. The peak is broad and occurs the mornings of May 4, 5, and 6. The best viewing times are the hours before dawn. Usually, about 10-20 meteors are visible, but with the nearly full moon many will be washed out. 

An image of an Eta Aquarid meteor from the NASA All Sky Fireball Network station in Tullahoma, Tennessee in May, 2013.

These meteors come from the debris of the famous Comet Halley!

Comet Halley. Courtesy NASA.

While viewing conditions aren’t ideal, it is still worth a shot of trying to catch the Aquariids the next few mornings. The Southern Hemisphere actually has the best shot at witnessing a great meteor shower.

Speaking of the moon, it is 2020’s last Full Super Moon on May 7th.  May’s full moon is called the Flower Moon, as it represents the flowers blooming this month. 

Venus has been shining bright in our west evening sky for a few months now, but that is coming to an end this month. So be sure to check out Venus in the early evening sky!

A view of the west sky in the Tri-Cities just after sunset. Courtesy Stellarium.

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