Big shooting star shows set to light up night sky

6 May 2019

This is one of the best meteor showers in the Southern Hemisphere this year

Amateur astronomers across Australia will be treated to shooting stars over the next few days, as bits of rock and ice from Halley's Comet burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

Astronomer Dr Brad Tucker from The Australian National University (ANU) said the streaking-light shows from the Eta Aquariids meteor shower would happen around 4am local time on each morning.    

"This is one of the best meteor showers in the Southern Hemisphere this year," said Dr Tucker from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

"In a dark location all across Australia, you can expect 15 to 20 shooting stars per hour. If you are in a city, get away from nearby lights and into a darker area like a nearby oval to see as many shooting stars as possible.

"The peak of the meteor shower will be tomorrow morning, but the next two mornings will also put on very good shows."

Dr Tucker said people should let their eyes adjust to the darkness for a few minutes before looking east, where the sky would put on a show for them.

In December last year, amateur astronomers were treated to another big shooting star show, known as the Geminid meteor shower, which Dr Tucker explained in the video above.