The night sky is always active whether we can see it or not. If you’re able to get outside this weekend you’re sure to have an astronomical weekend. Right now, the eta Aquariids are soaring overhead and the full flower moon is about to rise. Here’s when and how to see both.
First off, why is it called the full Flower Moon? Its name comes from the fact that flowers spring up across North America in abundance this month. The term “Flower Moon” has also been attributed to the Algonquin peoples, as confirmed by Christina Ruddy of The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre in Pikwakanagan, Ontario.
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On May 5th, the full moon will reach peak illumination at 10:36 AM PST and will rise at 8:58 PM. For the best view, find a location with unobstructed views of the horizon. Keep in mind that cloud coverage will effect viewing and at the moment, NWS is predicting a rainy weekend.
What’s more, the eta Aquariids meteor shower is flying overhead until May 27th, but will actually peak on Saturday May 6th, according to the AMS. They are known for being a strong shower, but when viewed from the equator northward, only produce medium rates of 10-30 per hour. Your best bet is to watch just before dawn.
So keep your eyes peeled this weekend and keep your fingers crossed for drier weather. Enjoy!
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