From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Halley's Comet Will Spark a Stunning Meteor Shower Tonight

The best viewing is after midnight on Monday night into early Tuesday morning.


Treasures and Ruins in Sun-Drenched Sicily


Treasures and Ruins in Sun-Drenched Sicily

Cinematic depictions of the famed Italian island barely scratch the surface of its...

A Nonalcoholic Drink That Continues to Blossom


A Nonalcoholic Drink That Continues to Blossom

Derived from French grapes and created by connoisseurs, French Bloom is the...

Adventurous Watches, Linen Sheets, and the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Editors’ Picks

Adventurous Watches, Linen Sheets, and the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Plus, a designer chair and transformative homeware: These are the items and...

Get ready to swap a night of Netflix binging to watch a spectacular late-night show thanks to Mother Earth. Tonight the annual Eta Aquarids meteor shower will be on full display for people across the globe to watch as many as 40 shooting stars per hour.

While most meteor showers are the result of debris left behind by comets, this one is particularly special as it's dust from Halley's Comet (one of the most famous). The comet only orbits the sun every 75 years, but Earth travels through some of the debris yearly in early May.

Related: Your Cosmic Address Is the Trippiest Thing You'll Learn Today

"The Eta Aquarids are one of two meteor showers sparked by Halley's comet. The other being the Orionids in October," said the American Meteor Society. "The majority of visible meteors are caused by particles ranging in size from about that of a small pebble down to a grain of sand, and generally weigh less than 1-2 grams."

So, where's the top spot to view the starry sight? The prime viewing actually takes place in the Southern Hemisphere, with those living near the equator experiencing the best show. But those in the Northern Hemisphere will still get the chance to see the meteor shower with roughly 10-30 shooting stars per hour, mostly visible just before dawn on Tuesday.

Related: How to See the Biggest Full Moon of the Year

And if you find yourself in an area where there is a lot of cloud cover, don't worry. The shower continues for a few days after the peak. You just might not see as many meteors. But if you lay outside for about an hour on a clear night, you're bound to see a few.

The peak comes just two nights before the last supermoon of 2020, making it a jam-packed week of celestial events for those stuck at home. If you miss this meteor shower entirely, there will be another peak in late July that originates from an unknown comet.


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.