Eta Aquarid meteor shower to light up the nighttime sky this week -- here's how to see it


Stargazers, take note -- the Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be streaking across the nighttime sky this month and you won't want to miss the show.

The Earth passes through debris created by Halley's Comet twice a year, creating two separate and spectacular meteor showers, according to

The Eta Aquarid occurs every year from approximately late April to mid May, while it's sister shower, the Orionid, graces the skies every October.

This year, the Eta Aquarid is set to hit its peak on May 6 between the hours of 3 and 5 in the morning, when as many a 30 spectacular shooting "stars" per hour should be visible to the naked eye.

The best places to take in the meteor shower are near the equator and in the Southern Hemisphere -- but northerners need not abandon all hope.

From the Northern Hemisphere, the meteors will appear low in the southern sky, meaning residents of New York City and San Francisco may have to find an area with a clear view of the southern horizon and minimal light pollution if they wish to see the natural phenomenon.

According to Bill Cooke, who leads NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, the best way to observe the dazzling show is to lie flat on your back and look straight up, as it gives viewers the widest possible view of the sky.

So grab some binoculars and set your alarm clock, this is one cosmic display you won't want to sleep through.