See Stars Zoom Across the Sky at 44 Miles Per Second During This Weekend's Meteor Shower

These shooting stars will be moving fast.

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower over Babcock Wildlife Refuge, Florida in 2016

Diana Robinson Photography/Getty Images

Aside from the northern lights, meteor showers are one of the most beautiful celestial events to see in the night sky. And over the next few days, the Eta Aquariid meteor shower will reach its peak intensity.

During a meteor shower, the Earth moves through a cloud of asteroid or comet debris, and tiny pieces of rock and dust burn up in the atmosphere. The result is dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of shooting stars lighting up the night sky. During the Eta Aquariids, according to NASA, these meteors come from Halley's Comet, and they will be traveling up to 44 miles per second, absolutely zooming across the sky.

If you're hoping to see the Eta Aquariids this weekend, here's everything you need to know about spotting them in the night sky.

When is the 2023 Eta Aquariids meteor shower?

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower runs from April 15 to May 27 each year. This year, the peak is estimated to occur until Sunday. At any point during the night, you might be able to see up to 30 meteors per hour in the Northern Hemisphere, per the American Meteor Society. But reports that there might be an outburst of more than 120 meteors per hour.

How to watch the Eta Aquariid meteor shower

All you have to do to see shooting stars is get away from light pollution, look up at the night sky, and let your eyes adjust for 15 to 20 minutes. Then as you're looking at the sky, you'll hopefully spot these super-fast meteors as they burn up in the atmosphere. Because the moon will be full or nearly full over the next few days, washing out some of the fainter meteors, it might be best to go out during the pre-dawn hours, right after the moon has set. Keep in mind that it's best to just look at the sky with the naked eye rather than through binoculars or telescopes, as you'll want the widest field of view possible.

When is the next meteor shower?

The next meteor shower is the Delta Southern Aquariids from July 18 through August 21 with a peak around July 30, but those are best seen from the Southern Hemisphere. In the northern hemisphere, the next big meteor shower is the Perseids, one of the best shows of the year. It runs from July 14 through September 1, with a peak around August 12.

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