One of this year's biggest meteor showers has just begun!

One of this year's biggest meteor showers has just begun!

Following on from the recent total solar eclipse that North America experienced on April 8th 2024, the next major celestial event has already begun!

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower, one of the highlights of 2024's celestial events, is already underway from April 15 through May 27, with optimal viewing expected during its peak on the night of May 5th. This year, viewers can anticipate seeing up to 50 meteors per hour at its peak, although typically the numbers will be between 10 and 30 meteors. This spectacular display is caused by the debris left by Comet 1P Halley (popularly referred to as Halley's Comet), a large comet that passes Earth every 75-76 years and has been observed since ancient times. It was featured on the Bayeux tapestry, and observed in Ancient Greece. 

Observing conditions for the Eta Aquariids are particularly favorable this year as they coincide with minimal moonlight. The peak viewing night features only a 14%-lit crescent moon, ensuring that moonlight does not hinder meteor visibility. This contrasts sharply with last year when a full moon significantly impacted the visibility of the meteor shower. There will be a better visibility for the meteor shower in the Southern Hemisphere, however it will still be visible in the Northern Hemisphere, only it will appear lower in the sky during early predawn hours. 

For those interested in photographing the event, setting up a camera on a tripod with a wide-angle lens and taking long-exposure shots can capture the fleeting beauty of the meteors. It's best to start around midnight when Aquarius, the radiant point of the shower, is at its highest in the sky—particularly in the Southern Hemisphere.


To fully enjoy the Eta Aquariids, no special equipment is needed other than perhaps a trip to a dark sky location free from urban light pollution. Settling in a comfortable spot with minimal surrounding lights and allowing your eyes to adjust to the dark enhances the experience. As meteors streak across the sky, they create a brilliant display of natural fireworks, a result of debris from Comet Halley burning up in Earth's atmosphere. This event is an excellent opportunity for everyone, from casual stargazers to avid astronomers, to witness one of nature's most dazzling shows.

Hopefully the skies will remain clear and we will have an excellent opportunity to watch this beautiful celestial event. Make the most of the Eta Aquariids shower, because the next meteor shower will be the Delta Aquarius and that will occur in several months time from July 12 to August 23.