There is a good chance that the Earth will soon witness one of the brightest meteor showers in years, says NASA. Find out when and where you can watch this spectacular sight that may turn into a meteor storm.
A spectacular meteor shower on Earth is happening soon, according to NASA. The Tau Herculids meteor shower, which is being considered one of the brightest meteor showers in years, has excited even the astronomers. Some scientists are even claiming that this event might be as intense as the Leonid meteor shower witnessed 20 years ago. Astronomy app Star Walk has even predicted that the event can actually give rise to a rarer phenomenon of ‘meteor storm’, a much brighter spectacle than the ordinary meteor storm. So, when is this rare space event scheduled to happen and how can you watch it? Read on to find out. Also read: Mars Rover mission suspended because of Ukraine war – here’s what we are hoping for next
Meteor Shower 2022: When and where to watch
According to NASA, the Tau Herculids meteor shower is expected to hit the sky over Earth around 5:00 GMT (10:30 AM IST) on Tuesday, May 31. The meteor shower will be visible across large parts of the USA, Canada, Mexico and central South America as well as a part of West Africa. Sadly, as it will be daytime in India when that happens, people in the country will miss out on the meteor shower.
But not to worry, there will be multiple live streams going on which should help people who are interested in checking out this space event. A good place to find these streams is on YouTube. Also read: Solar flare, coronal mass ejection, solar storm – what are they and how do they differ? NASA tells us
What is a meteor shower
A meteor shower is a celestial event in which multiple meteors are seen radiating light as they move across the sky. The reason why these meteors radiate is because as they move, they also shed smaller particles, which gives it a glowing tail-like effect.
What comet is behind Tau Herculids meteor shower
Schwassmann Wachmann 3 or SW 3 in short is the comet which broke apart into multiple pieces in 1995. Today, it has 70 pieces which float around the space together. These space rocks, when they travel across the night sky of the Earth, will give rise to the Tau Herculids meteor shower.
Will we definitely see a meteor shower?
Earlier this month, NASA posted on its blog providing readers the details of the potential meteor shower. In the blog, it mentioned, “Sometimes events like this don’t live up to expectations – it happened with the 2019 Alpha Monocerotid shower, for example. And some astronomers predict a dazzling display of Tau Herculids could be hit or miss”.
The reason behind the doubt is that the meteors need to move at a very high speed for us to be able to see them. If they move slowly, the glow will be faint and the meteor shower will barely be visible. According to the Spitzer observations published in 2009, at least some meteors are moving at a high enough speed to cause the meteor shower. As NASA asks people to be cautiously optimistic about the event, it adds, “We can’t be certain what we’ll see. We can only hope it’s spectacular”.