Every May, there’s a chance to see pieces of Halley’s Comet streaking across the night sky.
Halley’s Comet was last visible from Earth in 1986, but fragments of the comet can be seen each year with the return of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower.
Unlike most annual meteor showers, there is no sharp peak in meteor activity. Instead, the Eta Aquarids have fluctuating activity with the highest rates lasting approximately one week centered around May 5.
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is known to produce as many as 50 shooting stars per hour during its most active period. However, stargazers in the Southeast U.S. should only expect to see 10 to 20 meteors an hour (weather permitting) due to the low-latitude of the Aquarius constellation.
If you plan on looking for shooting stars, the best time will be between midnight and just before dawn. Look to the south and try to avoid city lights for the best viewing potential.
With an approaching storm system, cloud cover may limit visibility over portions of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi early Thursday morning.
Better conditions to see the meteor shower will be along the East Coast, in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.