Mysterious Flash Of Light Was Likely A Meteor

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Read Mr. Lunsford's full and very detailed Viewing the eta Aquariid Meteor Shower in 2017.

An NBC4 viewer sent us dashcam video from the eastbound 10 Freeway near Mid-City/downtown Los Angeles.

Every year for almost a month, from late April to late May, the Eta Aquarid meteor showers are visible from Earth.

Meteor showers can be awesome night sky sights, but how well do you know your shooting star facts?

What are the Eta Aquarids?




Because these meteors appear to radiate from a position low on the eastern horizon for midnorthern latitudes, watchers in the tropics are best-placed.

"The good news is you have a better view of this meteor shower than just about anywhere else in the U.S.", MacRobert said. This year's meteor shower is said to be the best on record.

To find the best spot to scour the night sky, Bruce McClure from EarthSky.org suggests finding the Aquarius Constellation, and pinpointing its Y-shaped "Water Jar", which is made up of four stars, including Eta Aquarii. In 1870, while sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, Lt. Col. G.L. Tupman sighted 15 meteors on the morning of April 30, and another 13 a few mornings later. When the Earth interacts with that rubble river, those comet bits race through our atmosphere at high speeds to produce the effect of "shooting stars". "A few of the brightest ones may shine through, and if you are looking for a shooting star to make a wish on, you might just get one".

The cool part is that while the Eta Aquarid meteor shower doesn't produce as many meteors as the Perseid or Geminid showers, these ones are particularly bright and easy to spot.

"But it's not. The reason it's not is that sunrise comes later to the Southern Hemisphere (where it's autumn in May) and earlier to the Northern Hemisphere (where it's spring in May)". They are best observed a couple of hours before dawn.

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