Everything You Need to Know About This Year's Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower

The second meteor shower in as many weeks will dazzle stargazers around the globe, but the light show late Monday will battle against the glow of a almost full moon when it reaches its peak.

Now the southern hemisphere has the best viewing for this shower, but we in the northern hemisphere still have a good chance. However, as the radiant point climbs higher in the sky, more and more meteors will able to be seen.

You can see a spectacular meteor shower between 2am and 5am Sydney time on Wednesday May 6 2020.

Strap in for a sliver of good news! But they move quite quickly - "blink and you'll miss it", Lord warned.

And, rather than only being visible every 76 years (the next Halley's Comet sighting is in 2061), the Eta Aquarids come around every year, usually between April 19-May 28 every year. But we pass through the thickest debris on the morning of May 6.

Mr Rigby says the Eta Aquarid meteor shower is the closest starwatchers will get to Halley's Comet for another 41 years.

The presence of a near-Full Moon this week will also hinder the viewing experience.

"This will be one of the best meteor showers that we will see this year", he said. In Wellington, the overnight forecast is mainly cloudy with rain, the same went for Auckland and Christchurch.

"Like I say, you have to be looking in the right place at the right time, so I always feel a bit sad if my colleagues remark "ooh, meteor" and I don't have time to look around before it's gone!"

While this cosmic display is well worth watching, there is a catch: you'll need to forgo some of your usual shuteye to see it.

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.

The water jar is in the southern part of the constellation for those in the Southern Hemisphere, and the northern part for those in the Northern Hemisphere.

"If you are in a city, getting away from nearby lights and into a darker area like a nearby oval will allow you to see more shooting stars".

Then just a day later on May 7, lunar buffs can look forward to a "super flower moon", marking the fourth and final super moon of the year. No telescopes or binoculars are needed. This way you'll optimise your chances of the viewing the phenomenon.