METEOR SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS
By Angela Garrity, Guest Blogger
There are two nighttime delights to feast your eyes upon happening days apart from each other. One of them is getting its own time to shine, thanks to remnants left by a famous name.
AccuWeather reports that “the Eta Aquarids is an annual meteor shower in early May, and this year, reaches its climax on Monday night and the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday morning.
This year, the meteor shower will be peaking just two nights before the final supermoon of 2020. The bright moon may make it difficult to see some of the fainter meteors, but it should not completely wash out the shower.”
The Eta Aquarids are one of two meteor showers that Earth receives from dust left behind from Halley’s Comet. The other is the Orionids that appear in October. While Halley’s Comet may only orbit the sun every 75 years, Earth passes through some of the debris left behind by the comet. When the debris enters our atmosphere, it burns bright for a few seconds, giving us a beautiful display of light appearing in the dark sky.
Stargazers across the southern U.S. and the interior West are likely to have the best viewing contains for of the Eta Aquarids. Mainly clear conditions are also on tap for parts of New England and into Quebec, so be sure to look towards the darkest part of the sky after midnight.
If this isn’t enough to satisfy a hunger for the night, May also brings the last supermoon of the year and it will be “many moons” until we see another.
The Super Flower Moon will appear on May 7th is also known as Corn Planting Moon, Milk Moon, and Mother’s Moon because “the May full Moon marked a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom”, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Thursday will be a wrap to the series of supermoons we’ve seen consecutively each month beginning with the Worm Moon in March and Pink Moon in April, so this will be the last supermoon until April 2021, so take some time to enjoy the night sky this week. You’ll be glad you did.
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