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Breakdown: Why you should look up-Halley’s Comet visible

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 11:57 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -May will begin with some cool things in the nights sky. Two meteor showers will be active this month. The first one is the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower, which peak on the May 5th and 6th mornings with the highest activity expected on the 5th before dawn.

This annual meteor shower peaks in early May as the Earth passes through the debris trail from Halley’s Comet (1P/Halley). Halley’s Comet is visible from Earth only about every 76 years and was last observed in 1986. It won’t be seen again until 2061.

When the Earth comes in contact with the famous comet’s orbit, vaporizing debris enters our atmosphere at a whopping 148,000 miles per hour, according to NASA. These are fast and can leave a glowing trail which will look like shooting stars.”

It typically produces around 30 meteors per hour at it’s peak.

To view the meteor shower, get away from city lights and find an open area. Lie flat on your back, and look up and allow about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust.

The second shower is the Eta Lyrid meteor shower runs from May 3-14th with the peak on May 8th. On this night, you can look toward the direction of the constellation Lyra to try and spot Eta Lyrids streaking across the sky.

The Eta Lyrids is not the most active shower and sometimes it will only produce about 3 meteors per hour during the peak but possible to try and see these meteors both pre-dawn on the 8th and that evening too according to astronomers.

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