What is Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower?
Eta Aquarid meteor shower is another annual meteor shower that is visible from India and especially near Bangalore. Its a stunning display of bright meteors that are seen when the Earth passes through a stream of dust and debris left behind by the comet 1P/Halley.
How Meteor Showers happen?
It is just like driving in the summertime. You are hurtling down the highway with the windows down when suddenly — SPLAT! A bug hits your windshield. Then another one. And then another.
That is exactly how a meteor shower works. Earth is driving through the solar system, and it encounters a swarm of debris. The atmosphere vaporizes the shooting star like your windshield that smashes an unlucky insect. Get ready for a night full of bright surprises!
When to see them?
Earth will pass through the debris left behind of 1P/Halley twice in a year. Once during April-May and the resultant meteor shower is called Eta Aquarid. Second time is during October and that meteor shower is called Orionid. In 2020, the peak of Eta Aquarid is during the night between 5th and 6th of May. That means on that day between 2 AM and 4 AM, the maximum number of meteors can be seen.
However in 2020, the peak is co-inciding with a full moon. Bummer! Since the moon will set at around 5:30 AM. So, we have a one hour window between 4:30 AM and 5:30 AM to watch the meteor shower this year.
Mark your calendars for the any of the days between May 3rd and May 8th to witness the Eta Aquarid meteor shower . What makes it more special this year (2019)? The moon will rise only after 5 AM; that means the sky will be completely dark which makes it ideal to view the meteor shower.
Be prepared to see about 20-40 meteors an hour. Can you imagine how stunning would that be? The sky will light up in all its glory and you don’t want to miss it for anything or anyone!
Since 2010, we folks from Bangalore Adventure School have been watching this Meteor shower phenomenon every year. So you can either tag along with us to watch this celestial drama or you can follow our instructions and watch them yourself!
Your best bet will be to go camping atop a hill/mountain in the outskirts of the city away from the light pollution and crowd. All you need to do is just wrap up warm, allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness, then sit back or lie down facing the sky, relax and enjoy the show with some cozy company.
Don’t know where to go to catch the show? Beaches, ballfields and lakes are ideal, where an absence of trees allows for maximum sky viewing. Of course, make sure that is a safe location, and maybe bring a friend to watch the show! No need for telescopes, cellphones or taking selfies.
Where to see Meteor Shower around Bangalore?
Some places in Bangalore that we think could present a scintillating show this May weekend are Nandi Hills, Turahalli Forest, Ramanagara, and some secret getaways that we would usually hang out at; for events such as these. The only catch in places around Bangalore are the light pollutions. So, we usually go to the Eastern Ghats for camping. You could even travel north to Hampi and camp there to escape the rain clouds and to get good visibility.
Any plans by Bangalore Adventure School?
Since we are all in lock-down, we are not conducting any camping events to watch this meteor shower this year.
However, you may attempt watching it yourself provided you live in a place with no light pollution in the night. To know how to watch and to know everything about watching meteor shower, please check out our Youtube video AMA Session – Ask Me Anything.
If you want to know more details about our plan / how to join etc.,
Please join this WhatsApp group : BASCOOL Meteor Shower Camp Planning 2019
Click here for a list of Upcoming Events
Where and how to see Meteor Shower from other places in India?
The south western states might get covered under the monsoon clouds. So, those who are in either Kerala or Coastal Karnataka will be really unlucky if the camping place they’ve chose get rain. The best bet will be somewhere in Northern Karnataka like Hampi or Telangana or Andhra Pradesh. Camping at Gandikota will be a very good option.
Which other Meteor shower can be observed from India?
There are quite a few meteors visible from India. The prominent ones are