Remnants of Halley’s Comet To Be Seen Over the Hudson Valley
The last annual meteor shower of the spring will be seen over the night sky this week, and the material that makes up these particular meteors has a very well-known source. And while said comet is currently over 2 billion miles away from Earth, and won't be seen again until 2061, the debris left behind should provide sky watchers and astronomy types with about 10 to 30 meteors per hour of viewing enjoyment.
What, When, and Where?
AccuWeather says that the Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak the night of Thursday, May 5, into early Friday, May 6. May's only meteor shower takes place as the Earth passes through the debris cloud left behind by Halley's Comet. And while it's not the biggest event of the year for viewers, it's something to look at if you want to get outside and get some fresh air. You'll have to get up early though. AccuWeather says the shower will provide the best viewing time between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., local time, before daybreak on Friday, May 6.
As is often the case, the Hudson Valley and Northeast are prone to overcast skies this time of year. Hudson Valley Weather is calling for increasing clouds Thursday night with a chance for showers late. But even if the clouds hide the view, AccuWeather says the Eta Aquarids will still be seen through the second week of May.
The next time to see any meteor showers will be when the Southern Delta Aquarids and the alpha Capriconids arrive in late July.
Other Recent Events in the Skies
If it seems like there was just talk of meteors in the last week or so, you may be thinking of the Lyrid meteor shower, which peaked in late April. Another rather unusual astronomical event just occurred in late April known as the Black Moon. An event like that may sound a bit ominous, but it was basically just the second new moon within the same calendar month. While that may not be huge to some, it is actually the first Black Moon since July 2019. The next time another one occurs will be December 2024.