Meteors to shower NZ skies this weekend

NASA Image of the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

The peak of the Eta Aquariid meteor shower is expected the grace the skies over night on Saturday.

An NBC4 viewer sent us dashcam video from the eastbound 10 Freeway near Mid-City/downtown Los Angeles.

Storm Team 12 Chief Meteorologist Ross Janssen says it isn't the most impressive meteor shower of the year, but you could catch as many as 30-60 per hour.

The shower is usually most active between April 19 and May 28 and is one of two showers created by dust debris from the Halley's comet as it orbits the Sun.

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, Miami skywatchers will get a better show than NY and San Francisco, but you should be able to see some no matter where you are. In the Northern Hemisphere, NASA notes the Eta Aquarid is particularly noteworthy for its 'earth grazers'-long meteors that appear to skim the earth's surface at the horizon.

Eta Aquarid has been named as the "meteor of the week" by the International Meteor Organisation.

Here's how you can look out for the meteor showers set to appear tonight and tomorrow.

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The Eta Aquarid originates from Halley's Comet.

To find the best spot to scour the night sky, Bruce McClure from EarthSky.org suggests finding the Aquarius Constellation, and pinpointing its Y-shaped "Water Jar", which is made up of four stars, including Eta Aquarii.

How can I watch the meteor shower?

But any time from 1am onwards should net you a good amount of shooting stars.

It's traditionally more visible from the Southern hemisphere, but will peak on the night of May 6 - and could be visible just before dawn in the UK.

Though meteors are some times called shooting stars, they are nothing but tiny particles burning up as they enter the atmosphere.

"While a low radiant means fewer meteors, there's an up side".

Observers in the southern hemisphere will have the best view, and will see the shower's radiant in the north. Sometimes you catch a good number of them and sometimes you don't.

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