An infrared image of Comet SW3 taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope in 2006. The comet has been disintegrating since 1995, creating possible conditions for a Monday night meteor shower. (NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology)
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SALT LAKE. The patience of stargazers could pay off on Monday evening as another meteor shower could arrive and could drastically light up the sky.
Astronomers believe that material taken from the small comet SW3 could trigger a large meteor shower called the Tau Herculids, which astronomers say will peak around 11 p.m. Monday. space.com.
Space.com columnist Joe Rao notes that the showers could be the intensity of the strongest annual meteor showers. These showers are known to produce up to 100 meteors per hour, as shown in Fig. Meteor shower review 2022 In the same space blog.
As an added bonus, there’s a small chance that the Tau Herculids could trigger a larger explosion or meteor storm, as thousands of meteors can be seen shooting out of the night sky an hour, Rao explains in his paper.
However, all models and forecasts can go down the drain, and the night sky can remain dark from Monday evening to Tuesday morning. Everything depends on the time of revolution of the Earth and the orbit of comet SW3.
If the Tau Herculids reach their full potential, the resulting spectacle will rank among the most powerful meteor storms in history, said Patrick Wiggins, local astronomer and solar system representative at NASA/JPL in Utah. Rao compares the best scenarios to the Leonid meteor showers of 20 years ago.
Nobody can say for sure what will happen. recently NASA blog post More conservative, it doesn’t even indicate the possibility of a storm.
Wiggins calls the chance of a storm “if it is significant”. However, that won’t stop you from watching.
“The only certainty,” he said, “is that I will observe.”
Possibility to take a shower
A meteor shower occurs when the Earth collides with a swarm of debris left behind by a comet.
inside press article Regarding international meteorites in 2022 Tau-Herculids, Rao writes that at 23:00 on Mountain Monday, the Earth will enter SW3 orbit just ahead of the comet itself. This appears to rule out the possibility of any meteorite activity in 2022.
However, after further modeling, Rao determined that it was possible that the SW3 debris cloud had passed far enough in front of the comet to cause a shower. Two other studies support for him proofhe’s writing.
In addition, Rao notes a similar comet collapse in the early 19th century that led to the Andromeda meteor storms in 1872 and 1885.
Notes for viewing
If you’re planning on seeing him, Rao suggests following the usual protocol for watching a meteor shower: warm clothes and a hot drink to combat the cold, a reclining chair to support your neck, and a red flashlight to demonstrate night vision.
Meteor showers are usually named after the point in the sky where the meteors come from, usually constellations. When it was discovered in 1930, Rao’s newspaper reported that Hercules must have been emitting tau from the constellation Hercules.
Today the radiation will be closer to the constellation Bootes. To find this constellation, find the handle of Ursa Major and point your gaze at the first bright star you see: Arcturus, the brightest star in Bootes.
You don’t have to look directly into the radiation to see meteors while showering. science writer and Former director of the Hansen Planetarium Mark Littman wrote a book about the great Lyon meteor storms in the 19th century ahead of the rains of 1998 and 1999 called Heaven on Fire. In this book, he explains that looking away from the shower’s radiation will allow you to see longer tails.
However, if a storm occurs and thousands of meteors strike, looking directly into the beam will create the illusion of flying through space, similar to Federation Championship In Star Trek, Littman explains.
Rao warns that as expected meteors will hit Earth on Monday night, they will also appear dimmer, so the sky should be dark. He adds that any possible storm would be “short-lived; no more than a few hours.”
Of course, the weather is a major factor in any astronomical event.
Quoting an old science fiction saying, Wiggins said, “Look at the sky.” “Everywhere. Keep looking. Keep looking up at the sky.”
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