The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to peak this weekend. The mornings of May 5 and 6, 2012 are probably best for meteor-watching. But the largest full moon of 2012 on May 5 will drown these meteors in its glare.
When no moon is in the sky to spoil the show, you typically see 10 to 20 meteors per hour at mid-northern latitudes and perhaps twice that number in the Southern Hemisphere, for the Eta Aquarid shower. This shower is like most others in that the best time to watch tends to be during the wee hours before dawn.
he Eta Aquarid meteors, in particular, are strictly for night owls or early risers, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. This shower’s radiant point doesn’t rise over our horizons until around 2 or 3 a.m. The meteors are few and far even then, but the wee hours are a time for catching earth-grazing meteors in this shower. An earth-grazer is a long, slow, colorful meteor that horizontally streaks the sky.
The closer to dawn, the more Eta Aquarid meteors you’re likely to see. These meteors are extremely fast and often bright, striking Earth’s atmosphere at 66 kilometers – about 41 miles – per second. Many of the brighter meteors leave persistent trains – glowing ionized gas trails – for a few moments after their fiery plunge. You’re not likely to see many of these trails in the bright moonlight in 2012, however.
This Shower is due to the dust trails left behind by the Halley's Comet. We have two shower per year due to the dust trails of Halleys in May and Orionids in October.
So, wish you all the best for catching more meteors despite of Strong Moon Glow :)
Wishing you all a clear skies and happy weekend!