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Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this week

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MADISON (WKOW) - Eyes to the skies overnight into early Wednesday, as we could get a good look at one of the most famous meteor showers, Eta Aquarid!

Early Thursday morning, just before dawn begins to light up the eastern sky will be an opportunity to see some of the remnants. Although, possible chances are best in our region tonight due to the clearer skies.

Halley's comet made its last pass through the inner solar system in 1986. It's not due back until 2061. Every time this comet moves around the sun, it leaves behind a dusty trail — call it "cosmic litter" than can be seen.

Ideal conditions are with a dark, moonless sky about 30 to 60 of these might be seen per hour at the peak of the display on May 6. 

The shower appears at about one-quarter peak strength for several days before and after May 6.

This year will be a very good year to watch for them because the moon will be in a waning crescent phase and provide little interference for viewing.

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Katherine Noel

Forecaster, WKOW TV, Madison

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