Eta Aquariids meteor shower, May 2013 | Hawaii viewing tips

The Eta Aquariids are a very broad meteor shower and its shooting stars can be seen between April 19th and May 28th. This shower peaks in 2013 on Hawaii during the daytime (May 5th at 15:15 pm), so the best time to watch is between midnight and moonrise (±3 am) the nights directly before or after May 5th.

Don’t miss any of the 2013 astronomical fireworks in the Hawaiian sky and bookmark our Hawaii 2013 Astronomy calendar. We will send you Astronomy Alerts for all future Hawaiian astronomy events showers if you subscribe to our blog.

If you are planning to watch this years Eta Aquariids meteor shower, we recommend that you have a look at our meteor shower guide for viewing tips and meteor background information specifically tuned to Hawaii. For the Big Islanders, we have also written a guide on stargazing on Hawaii.

Eta Aquariids Trivia

Did you know that the Eta Aquariids have a sister meteor shower? The Eta Aquariids meteor shower happens when earth passes through the space-debris left by Halley’s Comet. Because Halley’s comet and our planet orbit the sun in the same plane, there is another point in space where earth crosses the debris from this comet. When this happens, we see the meteor shower the Orionids (and not the Delta Aquariids as people often think).

Halley's comet Orbit

Current position and orbit of Halley’s comet around our solar system. Every blue dot shows you where the comet is in that year. You can see the comet passes twice (in 1986 and 2061) close to earth, leaving enough space-debris to cause two meteor showers: the Eta Aquariids (early May) and the Orionids (late October). Image adapted from source.

Halley’s Comet is the most famous short period comet of our solar system, and returns every 75 or 76 years. The last time it flew by was in 1986, the next time will be in 2061. Right now Halley’s Comet is deep in the outer solar system (beyond Neptune!) but you will still be able to see little particles of it burn up into earths atmosphere twice a year during the Eta Aquariids and the Orionids meteor showers.

Each time it swings by the sun, solar heat vaporizes about 6(!) meters of ice and rock from the nucleus. The debris particles, about the size of sand grains, spread along the comet’s orbit, filling it with tiny meteoroids.

Best 2013 Hawaii viewing times for the Eta Aquariids

The Eta Aquariids peak on May 5th during the afternoon on Hawaii 2013, but this meteor shower has a relatively broad peak that lasts about 12 hours before and after this time. The moon rises around 3 am the nights around the peak (lunar calendar for Hawaii), so the hours between midnight and 3 am on May 4-6 are the best time to watch.

Where can you see the Eta Aquariids

Look towards the East and find the constellation Aquarius. This is where you will see most shooting stars (the radiant). The radiant of a meteor shower (the place where the shooting stars seem to come from) of the Eta Aquarids is located in the “water jar” of the constellation Aquarius. We show a sky maps below to show you how the radiant moves through the night sky.

eta aquarids sky map 2013 Hawaii

Hawaii sky map for the 2013 Eta Aquariids meteor shower on May 6th

 

5 thoughts on “Eta Aquariids meteor shower, May 2013 | Hawaii viewing tips

  1. Pingback: Hawaii 2013 lunar, sunrise and sunset calendar for moon and stargazing

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  3. Pingback: Eta Aquarids meteor shower May 5th 2012: Hawaii viewing tips

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