The summer sky is about to light up with the annual Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaking this week. Not as prolific as Leonids or Geminids, but this shooting star event remains one of the much-awaited annual occurrences simply because of its association with one of the oldest and well-known comet Halley.

Eta Aquarids is an annual celestial event that usually runs between mid-April to late May, each year with its peak time around Tuesday, May 5. It gets its name from the constellation Aquarius where its radiant point lies and constellation's brightest star Eta Aquarii.

Eta Aquarids is one of the two meteor showers Halley is associated with since Earth passes through the comet's path twice every year. While Eta Aquarids remain its summer version of the meteor shower, the second time it comes in the form of an Orionid meteor shower, reaching its maximum range in mid-October.

When to view best?

In 2020, the meteor shower will peak between the nights of Tuesday, May 5 and Wednesday, May 6. According to Earth Sky, the best time to witness the shower at its greatest range is before dawn. Unfortunately, this time around, the meteor shower provides a very small window to enjoy its peak as the rising full moon on Thursday, May 7 will overshadow the spectacular view.

While writing for International Meteor Organisation, veteran meteor expert Robert Lunsford made it clear that Eta Aquarids is not a prolific meteor shower, but it produces up to 25 to 40 meteors per hour when it is at its peak and provides a stunning experience for stargazers.

"Unlike most major annual meteor showers, there is no sharp peak for this shower, but rather a plateau of good rates that last approximately one week centered on May 6," Lunsford wrote.

Meanwhile, the publication suggests that the best time to view these bright fireballs falling from the sky an hour or two before the dawn. In addition, the meteor show is best viewed in Southern Hemisphere. Nevertheless, it can be viewed from northern latitudes, however, the shooting stars may not appear abundantly.

Delta Aquarids
The Delta Aquarids meteor shower will peak at the end of July 2016 Nasa

How to watch it?

Meteor showers are one of the best events to witness the wonders of the night sky because it needs no special or highly advanced equipment. Amateur astronomers, space enthusiasts, or stargazers, all can enjoy these views by simply finding a dark corner under the open sky. The best place is a moon shadow area which is far away from the bright city lights with a view of the vast sky.

In addition, experts suggest giving your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the dark sky. There is no particular direction to watch out for the flying meteors, just lean on your reclining chair for a good view of the whole sky.