The time has arrived for the residents of planet Earth to observe the yearly spectacle of the Arietids meteor shower. It is the phenomenon which occurs when thousands of meteors stream out of the constellations Aries and Perseus in early June. The word Arietids is coined after the constellation the meteors emerge from, which is Aries.

At its peak the Arietids meteor shower can be seen in the sky every hour. The display lasts from late May until early June. Arietids visible before dawn tend to be “Earthgrazers”, which are meteors that travel horizontally through the upper atmosphere from radiants near the horizon. However, because both constellations are so close to the Sun when the shower reaches its peak, they are difficult to view with the naked eye.

The event is also known as ‘radio shower’ due to the high-velocity meteors entering the Earth’s atmosphere and ionising the gas around them. Due to this, radio signals start bouncing off, creating whining echoes.

To spot this meteor shower one needs to find a rural location, away from all the city lights and pollution and look east in the sky. In the northern hemisphere, stargazers can expect to see approximately six meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn.

Publish date: June 8, 2017 7:19 am| Modified date: June 8, 2017 7:19 am

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