Eta Aquarid Meteors Dazzle in Spectacular 'Shooting Star' Photos

During the peak of the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower last weekend, skywatchers captured some stunning images of the "shooting stars" as they bolted through the night sky.

Eta Aquarid meteors started raining down on Earth's atmosphere in late April and will continue to spritz through the sky until May 20, according to NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. The most impressive part of this monthlong meteor shower happened during its peak, in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 6.

During the meteor shower's peak, astrophotographer Justin Ng captured an amazing time-lapse video of the meteor shower from Mount Bromo, Indonesia. The bright meteors lit up the night sky like lightning flashes, and one even left a smoke trail as it burned up in Earth's atmosphere. Using a Canon 5D Mark IV digital camera, Ng also captured a shot of the Milky Way and its galactic neighbor, the Small Magellanic Cloud, in the background. 

Photographer Justin Ng of Singapore captured this stunning view of an Eta Aquarid meteor streaking over Mount Bromo in Indonesia during the meteor shower's peak on May 6, 2017. (Image credit: Justin Ng)

Down in New Zealand, Harriet Thomas photographed several meteors streaking across star-speckled skies over the Port Hills. She took to the hills early Saturday morning to escape the light pollution from the city of Christchurch and snap a few photos of the Eta Aquarids. [The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower in Photos

Eta Aquarid meteors dash over the Port Hills of Christchurch, New Zealand, on May 6, 2017. (Image credit: Harriet Thomas)

Thomas mounted her Canon EOS 80D digital camera on a tripod, switched it into continuous shooting (or "burst") mode, and then kicked back and watched the show while her camera snapped away. With the camera set to shoot at 15- to 30-second exposure times, she managed to capture several meteors, some of which were brighter than others.

"The rock managed to get a good cast of light over it from someone pulling into the car park and shining their headlights over it!" Thomas told in an email. Despite the light pollution from the city below, you can still see a faint part of the Milky Way over the landscape.

Several faint Eta Aquarid meteors streak across the star-speckled sky in this photo taken from the Port Hills of Christchurch, New Zealand, on May 6, 2017. (Image credit: Harriet Thomas)

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.