June 24, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Second spring meteor shower in the Greek night sky

Tomorrow, Thursday, the inhabitants of Greece can observe the peak of Eta Aquarid, the second spring meteor shower, which will reach its maximum.

In May 2022, the beautiful Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak. It is called so because its radiant is in the constellation Aquarius – Aquarius. The Eta Aquarids are thought to be fragments of Halley’s Comet left behind hundreds of years ago. Many signs and beliefs are associated with this bright beautiful event.

Eta Aquarids, emanating from the tail of Halley’s Comet, peak in Greece on the night of Thursday, May 5, in the early hours of Friday, May 6. This is the second spring “star shower” after the April Lyrids.

Since it is preceded by a new moon (April 30), the night sky will be quite dark, making it easier to see. In the northern hemisphere, where our country is located, up to 30 “stars” per hour are expected in the sky, mostly before dawn, and in the southern hemisphere their number reaches up to 60 meteors per hour, writes iefimerida.gr.

“Shooting stars” are observed in the sky twice a year when the Earth’s orbit intersects with dust particles left behind by Halley’s comet. In the first phase, the “rain” (known as the Eta Aquarids, Ήτα Υδροχοΐδες) lasts from April 19 to May 28, peaking on May 6, and the second “rain” (called the Orionids, Ωριωνίδες) lasts from October 4 to November 14, reaching climax October 22nd.

It’s been about 25 years since Halley’s long-known comet last approached Earth. It was discovered on February 9, 1986 at the closest point to the Sun, passing between Mercury and Venus. The comet has been moving in an elliptical orbit for 75 years and is constantly moving away from our planet. One of its characteristic features is that it leaves behind a “tail” of particles that periodically enter the Earth’s atmosphere and, burning up in it, look like a “starfall”.

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