Home > Ephemeris Program, Meteor Shower, Observing > 05/04/2017 – Ephemeris – Bits of Halley’s Comet will fill our skies for the next few mornings

05/04/2017 – Ephemeris – Bits of Halley’s Comet will fill our skies for the next few mornings

May 5, 2017

Ephemeris for Thursday, May 4th.  The Sun rises at 6:28.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 8:51.  The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 4:15 tomorrow morning.

Look out for the Eta Aquariids meteors in the early morning sky for the next few days.  This is like 5 a.m.  These are sand grain sized debris from “Hawley’s” Comet.  That’s the same guy we pronounce “Hayley” or “Hal-ley”.  The authority on the pronunciation is a contemporary of his, Samuel Pepys, who spelled his name H-a-w-l-e-y.   Anyway, this is one of two meteor showers every year that are attributed to Halley’s Comet, where the Earth crosses the debris stream.  The other, the Orionids of late October see the debris stream entering the inner solar system, while the Eta Aquariids, which seem to come from the southeast are the debris stream leaving the inner solar system, and heading back out toward Neptune’s orbit.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Eta Aquarid radiant

The Eta Aquariid radiant at the peak of the shower. The radiant moves slowly to the east with time. Credit: Bob Moler’s LookingUp program.

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