Showers We Will Never See.
Posted May 4, 2005 9:33 p.m. EDT
Earth is about to glide through a stream of space dust trailing Halley's Comet, producing a mild but beautiful shower of meteors called the eta Aquarids. The shower is most intense over the southern hemisphere, where dark-sky observers might see one meteor every few minutes or so. Northern hemisphere rates are much lower but not zero.
When should you look? The shower's peak spans May 5th and 6th. Try the hours before local dawn on both dates.
Eta Aquarid meteors emerge from a point in the constellation Aquarius that is, coincidentally, close to the planet Mars. Mars is approaching Earth for a close encounter later this year; already it's one of the brightest objects in the pre-dawn sky. So if you wake up early in the days ahead to look for meteors, you can see Mars, too--a nice bonus.
Due to our looming foul weather, I doubt skies will be clear enough to see anything locally. You can find more on the meteor shower on www.spaceweather.com