Meteor shower: How to watch Eta Aquarids 2021 in Australia
Meteor shower: How to watch Eta Aquarids 2021 in Australia

Best time to see spectacular meteor shower

Stargazers in capital cities across Australia will be treated to a weekend-long meteor shower, with dozens of shooting stars set to be visible to the naked eye in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower is created as the Earth passes through the dust and ice trail laid down over thousands of years by Halley's comet.

While the shower peaked on Thursday, meteors will continue to light up the early morning skies over coming days, with avid astronomers encouraged to look east between 2am and 5am each day.

Astronomers say the meteor shower will be visible to the naked eye, with stargazers encouraged to look east in the early morning.
Astronomers say the meteor shower will be visible to the naked eye, with stargazers encouraged to look east in the early morning.

Astronomer Brad Tucker from the Australian National University said Saturn and Jupiter would also be noticeable.

"These chunks of ice and rock hurtle through space at incredible speed and then burn up in the Earth's atmosphere," Dr Tucker said.

"It makes for an incredible display of streaking, bright lights and is one of the best meteor showers you will see all year.

"The meteor shower will be visible right across Australia. In the dark, you can expect to see 15 to 20 shooting stars per hour in city locations.

"And you don't need a telescope. Look up, and let your eyes soak in the display."

Dr Tucker said stargazers should look further away from the moon to see fainter meteors.

"The best time to see meteors will be from 2.30am to 3am local time," he said.

Originally published as Best time to see spectacular meteor shower