LOOK UP: Meteor shower from Halley's Comet
WISH upon a star this weekend.
It may in fact be a shower of dust particles, but the remnants of Halley's Comet could brighten the sky on Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
This weekend Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower will be at its peak, and according to David Reneke's astronomy website, this particular shower is capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its best.
"The waxing gibbous moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year," it reads.
"But if you are patient, you should be able to catch quite a few of the brighter ones."
The shower is produced by dust particles left behind by the infamous Halley's Comet, which has been observed for centuries.
As stated by Britannica, Halley's Comet was the first comet whose return was predicted and, almost three centuries later, the first to be imaged up close by interplanetary spacecraft.
In 1705 English astronomer Edmond Halley published the first catalog of the orbits of 24 comets.
Halley suggested that they were really one comet that returned approximately every 76 years, and while he did not live to see his prediction come true, the comet was sighted late in 1758 and was named in Halley's honour.
The meteors are said to radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
When discussing meteor showers with the NewsMail previously, Mr Reneke said while meteor showers could be unpredictable and you couldn't guarantee a good show, when they're good, they're great.
For residents looking to snap a photo of the shower, Mr Reneke has recommended photographers adopt the same techniques used to capture lightning.
"Meteor watching is an early morning activity, the best time is between 1am and 4am," he said.
"To photograph it you need a DSLR, a phone won't do it.
"Leave the shutter open, have the camera on a tripod and wait until you see the flash of light."
For more information visit www.davidreneke.com