Stunning Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower And Super Flower Moon Happening This Week
The amazing Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower and the Super Flower Moon are both going to be visible for avid stargazers to enjoy this week.
During lockdown, people are enjoying the smaller things in life; from baking to gardening, we’re having to learn how to entertain ourselves in different ways. Stargazing is one new hobby most people can easily do, and now is a great time to take it up as there’s loads to see.
Last month we saw the incredible Lyrid Meteor Shower grace the skies over several days, during which time hundreds of shooting stars flew across the sky every hour.
This week we’ll be treated to another shower known as the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower, which is set to hit its peak this week. The shower actually started April 19 and will continue until May 31 – but this Tuesday, May 5, is when it will be most visible.
For those of you wondering what the heck the difference between a meteor shower and, say, a random shooting star is, they occur when a comet gets too close to the sun and its icy surfaces burn off. Meteor showers tend to originate from one point in the night sky, while shooting stars are more random. Kinda cool, right?
The shower is estimated to produce around 60 meteors an hour, as Forbes reports. However, the peak of the shower is very close to a full moon, which could make the meteors a bit more difficult to spot.
The full moon making the shower slightly harder to see is what’s known as the Super Flower Moon, the fourth and final supermoon of 2020, which will take place Thursday, May 7.
This supermoon is only slightly bigger than our usual moon, and therefore only slightly brighter too; but the rare occurrence is still something to look forward to spotting in our night sky.
As well as the Eta Aquarids and Super Flower Moon, there’s a few other stargazing events to pop on your calendar for June that you can look forward to.
On June 4 you’ll be able to see Mercury, as the small planet reaches its ‘greatest eastern elongation’, making it visible in the western horizon for a short time after sunset.
There’ll also be what’s known as a Strawberry Moon Eclipse – which totally sounds like a flavour of ice cream if you ask me – where 57% of the Moon’s surface will be covered by Earth’s shadow. You’ll be able to see the rare moment June 5, but unfortunately for some, you’ll only be able to see it from Asia, Africa and Australia.
There will also be a solar eclipse known as the Solstice Ring of Fire on June 21 that will be able to be seen from Africa, the Middle East, parts of India and parts of China as well.
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