Archive for May 5, 2022

05/05/2022 – Ephemeris – Halley’s Comet returns… in pieces

May 5, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Cinco de Mayo, Thursday, May 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 8:52, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:25. The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 1:53 tomorrow morning.

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower will reach peak at about 4 am, tomorrow morning. However, the radiant, the apparent source of the meteor streaks, doesn’t rise until 3:15 am. If you’re waiting to see the return of Halley’s Comet, you needn’t wait until the main body of the comet returns in 2061. Halley’s Comet has made many passes of the inner solar system in recorded history, and more before that, returning to the inner solar system every 76 years or so, before returning to its frigid home beyond Neptune. It’s closest pass to the Sun, called perihelion, is inside Venus’ orbit. On the way in and out, it passes close to the Earth’s orbit. It has left a trail of debris, which we pass through in May and again in October.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.


Eta Aquariid radiant

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower radiant as it will be apparent tomorrow morning at 4:30 or at the beginning of nautical twilight. The radiant isn’t a ting that can be seen, but the point from which all the meteors of this shower can be traced back to. The funny looking lower case “n” is the Greek letter eta. The shower is named for the star seen just above the radiant, which is in the center of a small triangle of stars that make up Aquarius’ water jar. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium.