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Meteor shower forms over S’pore, peak activity on May 6, 2024 – Mothership.SG

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Singaporeans may have missed the total solar eclipse in North America last month, but we’ll soon get the chance to witness another celestial event.

A meteor shower will peak on May 6 and the morning of May 7.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower reaches its peak every year in early May.

Described as “above average” by the Singapore Science Center Observatory (SCOB) this year, the Eta Aquarids meteor shower can produce up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak as seen from the Southern Hemisphere, and 30 meteors from the Northern Hemisphere. .

Singapore is located on the edge of the Northern Hemisphere.

The night sky will be darker than normal due to the near new moon, and the SCOB has said this year’s shower should be an “excellent show”.

The meteor shower is named after the star Eta Aquarii in the constellation Aquarius, from which they appear to originate.

However, SCOB said the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky.

How to catch the meteor shower

The SCOB said the showers can generally be viewed with the naked eye, provided there is no light pollution and cloud cover.

For the best view, stargazers should wait until after midnight and find a “dark spot, away from city lights, with a clear, unobstructed view of the sky.”

You don’t need telescopes or binoculars to see the meteor shower, but they can “see fainter meteors and details in the night sky.”

Going to a nature park or reservoir may allow you to escape the light pollution and get a better view of the sky.

However, the SCOB advises stargazers to read the park rules before visiting in the early hours.

How meteor showers form

Meteors are rocky or icy debris ejected by comets or asteroids, the SCOB explains.

When Earth passes through these debris trails, the meteors enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up, leaving visible streaks in the sky, known as shooting stars.

The Eta Aquarid meteors come from debris left behind by the famous Halley Comet, which NASA estimates will pass Earth in 2061.

More showers are expected this year

According to the SCOB, the Perseid meteor shower will peak over Singapore between August 12 and 13.

Known as one of the brighter annual showers, it gets its name from the constellation Perseus.

The Geminids are also expected to peak on the night of December 13-14.

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Top photo via Unsplash