Meteor shower shoots over Missouri
COLUMBIA - Halley's Comet is visible from Earth once every 75 years, but the annual meteor shower created by the comet's tail was best seen Wednesday morning.
"Every time it goes around, a comet is blowing off all sorts of gas and dust," said MU Director of Astronomy Angela Speck. "That's what we see, this big tail is all gas and dust. That dust is going to keep going on this path."
The Eta Aquarid shower is named such because it comes from the Aquarius constellation. The shower takes place April 21 through May 20, but most meteors shoot through the sky Tuesday, May 5 into Wednesday, May 6. The event even got the hashtag #MeteordeMayo as it fell on the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
Columbia residents got a chance to catch the shower early Wednesday morning before sunrise. AccuWeather's map shows mid-Missouri had fair visibility compared to the rest of the country.
To get the best view for meteor showers, Speck recommended going somewhere away from lights. She said she's taken her children to Cosmo Park in the past. For this particular shower, she said facing southeast, focusing on the horizon, and looking for something resembling shooting stars could give people their best shot at seeing showers.
A robotic telescope service broadcast the shower in real time and recorded video for people who could not watch the shower in real-time.