The Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower Will Peak Tonight, Unleashing Up to 160 Fireballs Per Hour

The shower will reach its peak from 3 to 4 a.m. on May 5.

You may want to set your alarm a little earlier tonight. According to NASA, the Eta Aquariid meteor shower will be visible in the night sky starting after midnight, reaching its peak during the pre-dawn hours of May 5 from 3 to 4 a.m

This year, the Aquariids are expected to put on a particularly impressive show, with predictions of about 120 to 160 meteors per hour. Although a full moon will illuminate the night sky, the comets will still be visible from many parts of the world. The Aquariids will shine in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, with higher rates of visibility in the Southern Hemisphere, NASA says. In the North, stargazers can still expect to see about 10 to 30 meteors per hour during the shower's peak.

Meteor shower in night sky, Colorado USA

Adventure_Photo / GETTY IMAGES

The Aquariids' bright fireballs are caused by Earth running into a dense stream of debris from Halley's Comet. Most of the debris was released more than 3,000 years ago, according to NASA. Some of the fireballs, which move at around 148,000 miles per hour, leave behind glowing trains in their wake that can appear in the sky for several seconds to minutes.

To best view the stunning display, you should find a location far away from city lights. Give yourself about 30 minutes in the dark (away from your phone) to help prepare your eyes. Look away from the moon and try to take in as much sky as possible.

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