Skywatch: The moon will be favorable for the Eta Aquariids


We start the week out with a dark moon, which is good news for meteor watchers. The Eta Aquariid meteor shower is expected to peak on Monday morning in the east. The shower is caused by debris from Halley’s Comet. Up to 40 meteors an hour can be seen at the peak. As always, find a dark spot, far away from the city, for the best show.

The young moon will meet the Red Planet on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, passing closest on Tuesday. Look in the west about an hour after sunset. Above is how you’ll find the pair on Tuesday night.

The moon has a date with the Beehive Cluster on Friday evening. The cluster is in the constellation of Cancer and it’s also known as M44. Made up of nearly 1,000 stars, the cluster is believed to be 520 – 610 light years away. That means when you see it, the light is older than half a millennia. The moon is expected to occult, or pass in front of, the cluster between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. in the western sky.

Speaking of the moon, the First Quarter Moon arrives on Saturday night at 9:12 p.m. Enjoy the half moon in the sky that night. Happy hunting!