Will the ‘Eta Aquarid’ Meteor Shower Be Visible in South Dakota?
If you're a stargazer there's a meteor shower happening throughout the month of May that might be worth your time to check out.
It's called the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, and according to the folks at NASA, it will be viewable to people located in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres during peak hours, which in this case will be the hours just before dawn.
Dakota News Now is reporting the people living in the Southern hemisphere will be the ones who will get the best view of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, with at least 30 meteors visible during the peak viewing hours.
What about us here in South Dakota?
Unfortunately, we may only be able to catch a glimpse of about 10 meteors an hour during the peak viewing times, and that's if we're lucky. And then of course that all hinges on Mother Nature wanting to play ball, by providing optimal viewing conditions like a dark sky on a cloud-free night. And by the looks of the Dakota News Now forecast over the next few nights, Friday night might be your best bet, as a partly cloudy sky is forecasted overnight. Don't count on seeing a glimpse of anything Saturday and Sunday night due to the showers and thunderstorms that are predicted for the Sioux Falls area.
According to Space.com, the Eta Aquarid is not a shower that you can go out to see after sunset because the radiant won't be up.
If you're serious about catching a view of this shower, the experts say you'll want to venture out around 2 AM. Starting at that point, the meteor shower rates will increase until dawn.
Where should you look in the sky here in South Dakota?
For those of us in the northern latitudes, Space.com says the meteors will appear to originate from Eta Aquarii, one of the brighter stars in the constellation Aquarius. Again, with the radiant not being very high in the sky, we'll need a relatively clear southern horizon to get the best view of the meteors.
Be advised, that for optimal viewing conditions, it's recommended that you try to find a spot out in the country away from city lights, which can dampen the view.
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak on Friday, (May 6), but supposedly it will be viewable until around May 28.
Source: Dakota News Now/NASA/Space.com
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