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Meteor shower from Halley's Comet will light up the night sky on Cinco de Mayo

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Posted at 5:01 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 10:02:19-04

Fans of cosmic phenomena listen up!

A meteor shower is expected this Cinco de Mayo.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower is expected to peak in the early hours of Tuesday, May 5.

The Eta Aquarids are one of two annual showers caused by pieces of Halley's Comet.

Each year, when Earth collides with the comet's orbit, vaporizing debris comes flying into our atmosphere at 148,000 miles per hour, according to NASA.

The fast meteors then tend to leave glowing dust "trains" behind them, producing magnificent "shooting stars."

Halley's Comet won't make its next return through the inner solar system until the summer of 2061, according to Space.com

The shower from the comet, which occurs annually, is active between late April to mid-May.

For the best chance at seeing the shower, go outside around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. and gaze somewhat away from the radiant in the constellation Aquarius, Space.com says.

The best time to look is just before dawn, when there is least amount of light from the moon to obstruct the view.

"Under the most favorable conditions from the southern United States, a dozen or more meteors per hour can be seen from the Eta Aquarid swarm," Space.com said. "But observers from mid-northern latitudes may only see about half as many."

Halley's Comet was last seen in 1986.