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While the moonlight may have obscured the April Lyrid meteor shower, stargazers will have another chance to spot meteors with the upcoming Eta Aquariids meteor shower, which will peak around 12 a.m. ET on April 5. May, according to predictions from the American Meteor Society.
However, peak predictions vary, and showers should still be visible in the pre-dawn hours of May 4, 5 and 6, 2022, according to EarthSky.
The Eta Aquarids, named for the constellation Aquarius, derive from the remnants of Halley’s Comet, the well-known comet that is visible from Earth every 76 years, according to NASA. The last time the comet was seen in our sky was in 1986 and it won’t appear again until 2061.
While the Eta Aquarids are visible from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, they are best seen in the Southern Hemisphere, where the meteors rise higher in the night sky, according to NASA.
In the Northern Hemisphere, meteors will appear lower in the sky as “ground grazers,” meaning they will skim Earth’s horizon, according to NASA.
Eta Aquariids are known for how fast they travel, which can reach speeds of 148,000 miles per hour, according to NASA. Meteors will produce bright “trains” that will remain in the sky for several seconds after the meteor has crossed the sky.
The shower will remain active until May 27.
The Delta Aquarids are best viewed from the southern tropics and will peak on July 28-29, when the Moon is 74% full.
Interestingly, another meteor shower peaks on the same night: the Alpha Capricornids. Although this is a much weaker shower, it has been known to produce some bright fireballs during its peak. It will be visible to everyone, regardless of which side of the equator they are on.
The most popular Perseid meteor shower of the year will peak between August 11 and 12 in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Moon is only 13% full.
Here’s the meteor shower schedule for the rest of the year, based on EarthSky’s meteor shower outlook.
- October 8: Draconids
- October 21: Orionids
- November 4 and 5: South Taurids
- November 11-12: Northern Taurids
- November 17: Leonidas
- December 13-14: Geminids
- December 22: Ursids
There are eight full moons left to come in 2022, and two of them qualify as supermoons.
Definitions of a supermoon can vary, but the term generally denotes a full moon that is brighter and closer to Earth than normal and therefore appears larger in the night sky.
Some astronomers say the phenomenon occurs when the moon is within 90% of perigee, which is its closest approach to Earth in orbit. By that definition, the June full moon and the July full moon will be considered supermoon events.
Here’s a list of the remaining moons this year, according to the Farmers’ Almanac:
- September 10: Harvest Moon
- October 9: Hunter’s Moon
A partial solar eclipse on October 25 will be visible to those in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northeast Africa, the Middle East, western Asia, India, and western China. The first was on April 30.
Partial solar eclipses occur when the moon passes in front of the sun but only blocks part of its light. Be sure to wear proper eclipse glasses to safely view solar eclipses, as sunlight can damage your eyes.
There will also be two total lunar eclipses in 2022.
A total lunar eclipse will be visible to those in Europe, Africa, South America, and North America (except those in the northwestern regions) between 9:31 p.m. ET on May 15 and 2:52 a.m. ET on May 16. of May.
Another total lunar eclipse will also be on display for those in Asia, Australia, the Pacific, South America, and North America on November 8 between 3:01 a.m. ET and 8:58 a.m. ET, but the moon will set for those in the east. regions of North America.
A lunar eclipse can occur only during a full moon when the sun, Earth, and moon align, and the moon passes into Earth’s shadow. The Earth casts two shadows on the Moon during the eclipse. The penumbra is the partial outer shadow, and the umbra is the full, dark shadow.
When the full moon moves into Earth’s shadow, it dims but doesn’t disappear. Sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere illuminates the moon dramatically, turning it red, which is why this event is often referred to as a “blood moon.”
Depending on the weather conditions in your area, the moon may appear rusty, brick-colored, or blood-red.
This color variability occurs because blue light undergoes stronger atmospheric scattering, so red light will be the more dominant color highlighted when sunlight passes through our atmosphere and casts it on the moon.