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Marvellous meteor showers

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There’s nothing like a meteor shower to lure you outside in the early hours of the morning!

In early May, the eta-Aquarids Meteor Shower will give us a show. A meteor shower occurs when our planet Earth passes through the trail of debris left by a comet after it has completed its journey around our Sun. The eta-Aquarids Meteor Shower is caused by the debris left by well-known Halley’s Comet.

The debris can be as small as a grain of sand, and when it hits the Earth’s atmosphere it burns up causing bright streaks of light to appear in our night sky.

This year, the eta-Aquarids Meteor Shower has some competition from the Moonlight. Light reflected from the Moon can wash out the view of fainter meteors. However, you may still be able to see some of the bright “shooting stars”.

When and where to look: From 3.30am, 5 May is the peak of the meteor shower. It’s also worth trying to view them in the days before and after the peak. Look east and under Mars which is the bright red-coloured star-like object also visible.

Enjoy the fabulous and fiery views! Please stay safe, healthy and keep looking up at our amazing night sky. It holds a bright future for our regional tourism industry.

A new comet has just been discovered and it might be bright enough to see with binoculars or the naked eye. It’s always difficult to predict how bright a comet will get, but we have our fingers crossed for Comet Swan. The prediction is that it will brighten in early to mid May. If you’d like updates, join Stargazers Club WA for free. We keep members up to date. www.stargazersclubwa.com.au.