Aquarid Meteor Shower Tonight, Mercury Rising and M94 The Cat's Eye

The Aquarids meteor shower will peak Tonight! Halley's comet orbits the sun once every 75 years. The dust left behind the path of this comet are what give us the Aquarids in May. This meteor shower is known to produce 30 to 60 meteors per hour at peak in the Northern Hemisphere. Look for the radiant in the constellation Aquarius, but meteors can be observed anywhere in the night sky.

Dress warmly. Bring a reclining chair, or spread a thick blanket over a flat spot of ground. Lie down and look up somewhat toward the east. Meteors can appear in any part of the sky. To get a cool time-lapse video we recommend using our Revolution Imager in combination with an All Sky wide angle lens.

Mercury returns to the evening sky and will be at its best around the middle of the month. Look for the Moon, Venus and Mercury in the same binocular field of view 30 minutes after sunset on the 12th and 13th.

 In May, look for M94 "The Cat's Eye'' Galaxy. Originally discovered by Pierre Mechain on March 22nd, 1781,  Days later, Charles Messier described “it is brilliant in the center and the nebulosity is a little diffuse.”

Messier 94 occupies an area of 11.2 by 9.1 arc minutes, which corresponds to about 50,000 light years. The galaxy can be spotted with binoculars under exceptionally good conditions, but only appears as a small, dim patch of light. Even small telescopes will reveal the object as a galaxy. Messier 94 can be found 3 degrees east and a little south of Chara, the second brightest star in Canes Venatici.