- Recorder Online - http://www.berthoudrecorder.com -
Earthsky Tonight — May 4, Moon drowns Eta Aquarid meteors before dawn
Posted By Gary Wamsley On May 3, 2010 @ 9:47 pm In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
 The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is now taking stage in the dark hours before dawn. It has expected to peak in the predawn sky on Thursday morning – May 6, 2010 – from roughly two hours to one hour before sunrise. Look on our almanac page  for your sunrise time. Under ideal conditions, this shower can produce up to 20 to 40 meteors per hour. However, in 2010, the last quarter moon  will wash out all but the brighter meteors of this annual shower.
The point in the sky from which meteors in annual showers appear to radiate is called the meteor shower radiant. You do not have to locate the radiant to watch the Eta Aquarid meteors, but people always ask about them. Although the Eta Aquarid meteors streak all over the sky, they appear to radiate from the Y-shaped group of stars called the Water Jar. The Water Jar is part of the constellation Aquarius.
To star-hop to the Water Jar, first of all find the four stars of the Great Square of Pegasus. Looking eastward at about 4 to 4:30 a.m. (Daylight Saving Time), the Great Square of Pegasus glitters like a celestial baseball diamond. Imagine the bottom star as home base. Draw a line from the third base star through the first base star, then go twice that distance to locate the star Sadal Melik.
To the lower left of Sadal Melik is the small Y-shaped Water Jar, marking the approximate radiant of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Again, you don’t need to know the shower’s radiant point to watch the meteors! During the wee morning hours before dawn, the meteors in this annual shower will appear in all parts of the sky.
Written by Bruce McClure
StarDate Online 
Sky and Telescope 
National Geographic 
Space Com 
Amazing Space 
Scope City 
Article printed from Recorder Online: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com
URL to article: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2010/05/03/earthsky-tonight-%e2%80%94-may-4-moon-drowns-eta-aquarid-meteors-before-dawn/
URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Moon-20_phases.jpg
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/10may04_430.jpg
 almanac page: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/astronomy-essentials/sunrisesunset-moonrisemoonset-almanacs
 last quarter moon: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/moon-phases/last-quarter
 EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2010: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/astronomy-essentials/earthskys-meteor-shower-guide
 Why does the Eta Aquarid shower favor the southern hemisphere?: http://earthsky.org/faqpost/space/why-more-eta-aquarid-meteors-in-southern-hemisphere
 Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
 CHANDRA Photo Album: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/
 U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/astronomical-information-center/astronomical-information-center
 StarDate Online: http://stardate.org/
 Sky and Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/
 National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/
 Space Com: http://www.space.com/nightsky/
 Amazing Space: http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/tonights_sky/
 The York County Astronomical Society: http://www.ycas.org/tonights_sky.htm
 Scope City: http://www.scopecity.net/
Copyright © 2010 Berthoud Recorder. All rights reserved.