Ready to accept some meteoric uncertainty?
The Tau Herculids meteor shower could light up the skies over North America on May 30 and 31. Or not. There is a possibility that we may pass through the thick layer of a comet that creates debris, where the night sky will be filled with shooting stars.
Disposed adequately of the shower, it could lead to a “meteor shower,” as the Earth passes through a dense jungle of volcanoes, resulting in up to 1,000 shooting stars per hour, according to the Washington Post (opens). on the new tab). And as a bonus, the moon will be unique, and the glorious, or visible, shower direction is in the constellation of Hercules in the northern sky. This means that there will be minimal natural light pollution that we have to deal with if you are looking for shooting stars.
But a spacecraft is not a guarantee, warns NASA. If a comet that caused a hurricane has debris moving at less than 220 mph (321 km / h), “then nothing will come to Earth and there will be no meteors from this comet,” Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s NASA office meteoroid environment. The Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, says a recent agency blog post (opens in a new tab).
Meteors are best seen at local times at 2 a.m., and to get the best picture possible, people have to get very far from the city lights. Wear comfortable clothing, fight mosquitoes, and sit on a grass bench to look up. Excellent meteor streakers from far away are shining.
The thin body of the solar system of this shower is a comet, such as a snowball, known as 73P / Schwassmann-Wachmann, or SW3 for short. The comet separated for a while, and about 70 fragments were spotted in early 2006, although NASA suspects most of the fragments lay in the solar system.
“If it happens to us this year, debris from SW3 will slowly hit the Earth’s atmosphere, traveling at 16 miles per second,” the organization warned. Slow meteors often produce tiny streaks in the sky, but we can be surprised.
Astronomers who want to catch meteors should check out the beginner’s guide (opens in a new tab) on our sister website, Space.com. But if you can’t see any of these, don’t worry, as there are many more meteor showers every year. Perseids (which opens in a new tab), an excellent regular bet, which peaks in mid-August.