The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

Eta-Aquariid Meteor

The annual Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower peaks every year in early May and is the result of the debris field left over from Haley’s Comet. While it’s best viewed in the southern hemisphere, the northern hemisphere can catch some fireworks from it too on the morning of the peak. Though the shower is quiet with infrequent meteors for the northern hemisphere, it’s still known for displaying fantastic fireballs in the sky. The shower radiates from the southeast, from the constellation Aquarius.

I went out into the National Elk Refuge to watch the shower with my girlfriend and another friend early in the morning of the 6th. We bundled up with sleeping bags, and got cozy in the back of my car with the back open to watch the show. With it being early in the morning, well before dawn, we wound up falling asleep without seeing a meteor. I had my camera set up though, so I was eager to see if I caught anything on there, but unfortunately, it was a quiet shower this year in the northern hemisphere. The time-lapse from this year’s show, or lack thereof, is below. Although a night out under a nice night sky is hardly ever a waste of time.

So with such small odds at seeing an amazing meteor shower, why would I wake up so early to go watch a less-than-spectacular meteor shower? I first started watching the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower in 2013, and what I saw from it immediately made it one of my favorites. Early in the morning I saw a massive fireball explode in the atmosphere, which I not only caught a still photo of above, but also caught in the time-lapse below.

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