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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Halley's Comet: Tail of Comet Creates Annual Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower #HNNEnvironment

The annual eta Aquariid meteor shower will be best observed just before dawn tomorrow morning. Peak rates are normally around 40 meteors per hour, but the gibbous Moon will wash out the fainter etas, resulting in about 15-20 per hour under clear skies. This debris from Comet Halley hits Earth's atmosphere at a whopping 147,000 miles per hour (66 kilometers per second) and starts ablating (burning up) at altitudes around 68 miles (110 kilometers); most are vaporized by the time they reach 56 miles (90 kilometers) above the Earth's surface. The radiant rises late, so don't expect to see many etas before 3 AM local time.

Our all sky cameras have detected 22 eta Aquariid fireballs since April 29. The photo shows a -5 magnitude eta Aquariid captured by the Huntsville camera in the wee morning hours (3:33 AM CDT) of May 4.

Source: NASA Meteor watch

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