comets-book

You can now buy the recently released book, Fall of a Thousand Suns: How Near Misses and Comet Impacts affected the Religious Beliefs of our Ancestors. It is available through iBooks and Amazon.

 

This website only lists information on modern-day comets and meteor showers. The book, however, thoroughly investigates how specific ancient impacts and near misses changed religious beliefs around the world.

Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower

Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower

 

 

Discovery of the Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower

The Eta Aquariids radiate from the star Eta Aquarii in the constellation Aquarius.

 

In 1863, H.A. Newton examined the dates of ancient meteor showers. Some centered around April 28-30, including recorded observations in 401, 839, 927, 934 and 1009 CE. He still, however, didn't know the radiant.

 

The official discovery of the Eta Aquariids goes Lieutenant-Colonel G. L. Tupman, who observed and plotted 15 meteors on April 30 and 13 meteors on May 2, 1870.

 

 

 

 

The Parent Body of the Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower

The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower is the dust and debris left behind by Halley’s Comet (1P/Halley) centuries ago. This connection was made by W.F. Denning in 1886 after he observed the radiant near the star Eta Aquarii.

 

Modern astronomers discovered that Halley's Comet is not currently in an orbit which brings it near enough to Earth orbit to cause a meteor shower. However, Halley's Comet is responsible not for one, but two meteor showers a year. The other is the Orionid Meteor Shower in October.

 

 

 

When are the Eta Aquariids visible?

The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower is visible from around April 21 to May 20. It peaks for about a week centered around May 5/6, and is best viewed right before dawn. Although not as strong as the Leonids and Geminids, the Eta Aquariids can produce a 60 meteors an hour during its peak. However, 10 to 20 are more common.

 

 

Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower

 

Radiant of the Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower

Credit: Stellarium with radiant by Kevin Curran