Leonids Meteor Shower


Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower 2018: How and when you can see it

Name a better thing you can do this weekend. We’ll wait…

Leonids Meteor Shower


Just two weeks after Lyrids lit up the sky, we’ve got another universal delight coming our way with the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower.

There’ll be shooting stars aplenty this weekend, as gloomy night skies are illuminated by the phenomenon. So if you’re looking for a cheap thrill, or you want to fire up that romantic spark, a spot of stargazing will certainly keep you happy.

Eta Aquarids – What you need to know:

What is the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower?

Eta Aquarii is one of the brightest stars in the Aquarius constellation. Meteors from this part of space – which have deviated from Hailey’s Comet – will be visible in the night sky. Eta Aquarids is capable of producing the most intense “shooting stars”.

When can I see the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower?

You have a couple of chances with this one. You can either stay up or get up on Sunday 6 May, as the meteor shower comes into full view by 3:00. Our friends at Bashewa.com also predict the shower will be visible at the same time, early on Monday 7 May. But Sunday is expected to be the peak of the event.

Where in the sky will Eta Aquarids be?

Bare with us whilst we get technical: Your altitude for this should 16.17 degrees, whilst your direction should be 79.78 degrees.

eta aquarids meteor shower

Okay, now let’s translate. It’s recommended that you look towards the East, getting a good panorama of Aquarius and it’s surrounding constellations of Piscis Austrinus and Equuleus, whilst lying flat on your back. This will allow you to see between 20 – 30 meteors per hour if you keep your eyes peeled.

How do I find the best place to look?

If co-ordinates and constellations are all Greek to you, then there’s no need to panic. Meteor showers are incredibly considerate things. They can be seen from almost anywhere, as they travel at a close proximity to Earth.

Will I need a telescope or binoculars to view Lyrids?

It might enhance your viewing experience, but it’s still visible to the naked eye. The moon’s glow might reduce the effect the shower will have in the sky, but telescopes and binoculars remain non-essential viewing tools.

What is the best way to see a meteor shower?

  • Getting out of the city will provide a better view
  • Take a blanket and a comfortable chair with you – watching meteors, just like any other kind of stargazing, is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable.
  • Find a comfortable spot to lie on the ground, far away from lights and ideally in a dark-sky area
  • Don’t leave it up until the last minute. No matter where you are, your eyes need 20 – 30 minutes to adjust to the dark. Get out nice and early, then kick back and wait.

To find out when the next big meteor shower is, consult our comprehensive guide to the stars right here.