Halley's Comet won't fly by earth until 2061 but you can see pieces of it in the final meteor shower of the spring.

The last time Halley's Comet passed by the sun was in 1986. It's only visible once every 75 years, but there's another way to enjoy the comet. Or at least parts of it.

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak during the early hours of Friday, May 6 between 3 AM and 5 AM. You could see anywhere from 10 and 30 meteors per hour, according to Accuweather.

Most meteor showers are created when the Earth plows through a field of debris left behind by comets orbiting the sun. Most of the debris is small, generally the size of a small pebble or grain of sand, but when it hits Earth's atmosphere, it burns up and emits a bright flash of light.

Meteoric shower in the night.
cjwhitewine/Think Stock

Meteor Shower vs Comet

Meteor showers or shooting stars are different than seeing a comet pass by.

A flash of light from a meteor only lasts a few seconds, while a comet can be seen for weeks, sometimes months, as it appears to slowly fly through the night sky.

Meteor Shower Weather

The problem will be Mother Nature, once again. It looks like Central New York will be mostly cloudy during the peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower on Friday, May 6. If we miss this one, we'll have to wait until the middle of summer. The Southern Delta Aquarids and the alpha Capriconids are at the end of July.

mdesigner125/Think Stock
mdesigner125/Think Stock

Total Lunar Eclipse

There's also a total lunar eclipse in May. The Sun, Earth, and the moon will pass in a straight line on May 15/16, 2022. Anyone living in the Eastern and Central time zones will get to see the entire event.

Eclipse Timing (EST)

Partial umbral eclipse begins: 10:27 PM - Moon enters the earth’s shadow.
Total lunar eclipse begins: 11:29 PM - Moon turns dark orange or red.
Greatest eclipse: 12:11 AM - Mid-point of the eclipse.
Total lunar eclipse ends: 12:53 AM - Moon begins to leave the shadow.
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 1:55 AM - Moon completely exits earth’s shadow.

John Mottern/Getty Images
John Mottern/Getty Images

Next Solar Eclipse

You won't want to miss the next total solar eclipse that'll be right over parts of Central New York.

On Monday, April 8, 2024, more than 31 million people will get to see the next total solar eclipse, including millions in New York. That's more than double the 12 million that were in the path of the 2017 eclipse, according to Astronomy.com.

Dallas and Austin, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; Burlington, Vermont; and Montreal, Quebec; all are situated in the path of totality.

Credit - Accuweather
Credit - Accuweather

More Impressive Eclipse

The last eclipse on August 21, 2017, won't be anywhere near as impressive or as long as the one that we'll see in 2024.

Totality will last over four minutes for part of the path across the U.S., nearly double the length of the 2017 eclipse that lasted just over two minutes.

Mother Nature may not cooperate though. April is often a very cloudy month, especially north.

The odds of it being cloudy on this day increase farther north and east based on climatology.

family watching solar eclipse

Get Your Glasses

During the last eclipse in 2017, glasses to properly view the phenomenon without hurting your eye were in short supply. Experts suggest buying eclipse glasses now and keeping them in a safe place to enjoy the celestial show when April 8, 2024, rolls around.

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

If you miss it, you'll have to wait until 2045 when the next total solar eclipse passes by. And who knows if the path will be this close to Central New York again.

Rare Picturesque Partial Sunrise Eclipse Over Central New York

If you missed the rare sunrise eclipse, take a look a stunning photos from around Central New York.

Photographer Captures Stunning Northern Lights Show in Adirondacks

Shane Muckey captured stunning pictures of the Northern Lights in the Adirondacks.

Northern Lights In Old Forge

It's not really common to see northern lights in Central New York, but photographer Kurt Gardner captured the beautiful conformation of them near Old Forge. We're usually too far south of the North Pole, but sometimes we get lucky.
Auroras are caused by the Sun. The Sun is not only hot and bright, but it's also full of energy and small particles that fall toward Earth. NASA says the protective magnetic field around Earth shields us from most of the energy and particles, and we don't even notice them.
The amount of energy the Sun sends, depends on the streaming solar wind and solar storms. During one kind of solar storm called a coronal mass ejection, the Sun expels a huge bubble of electrified gas that can travel through space at high speeds.
When a solar storm comes toward us, some of the energy and small particles can travel down the magnetic field lines at the north and south poles into Earth's atmosphere. There, the particles interact with gases in our atmosphere resulting in beautiful displays of light in the sky. Oxygen gives off green and red light. Nitrogen glows blue and purple. [NASA]

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