shower Some lucky night sky watchers caught a glimpse of a brand new meteor shower on Monday night, as Earth passed through the debris trail of a crumbling comet.
The meteor shower peaked around 1 a.m. ET, with 10 to 25 meteors an hour spotted falling through the night sky, according to EarthSky.com, which described the meteor shower as “decent.”
New meteor showers like this one are relatively rare. NASA had described the meteor shower as “an all or nothing event.”The comet, officially known as 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, or SW3.
Tau Herculids meteor shower puts on a ‘decent’ display
Discovere in 1930 by German observers Arnold Schwassmann and Arno Arthur Wachman. It wasn’t spotted again until the late 1970s, and in the 1990s the comet shattered into several pieces, NASA said.
By the time SW3 passed Earth again in 2006, it was in nearly 70 pieces. And has continued to fragment further since then, the statement said. It was unclear whether the debris would strike Earth’s atmosphere at a high enough velocity to cause a meteor shower.
Each year, there are around 30 meteor showers. Which occur when the Earth passes through the trail of debris left by a comet or asteroid, that are visible with the naked eye.
Tau Herculids meteor
Some meteor showers have been around for centuries. For example, the Perseid meteor shower, which occurs each year in August, was first observed about 2,000 years ago and recorded by Chinese astronomers, NASA said.
Meteor showers are typically name after the constellation from where. Appear to radiate in the night sky, although Robert Lunsford, secretary general of the International Meteor Organization. The tau Herculids had been incorrectly name.
In a blog written before Monday’s meteor showe. He said that they will appear to radiate from a constellation known as Bootes, northwest of the brilliant orange star known as Arcturus (alpha Bootis).
The Delta Aquariids are best from the southern tropics and will peak between July 28 and 29. when the moon is 74% full.
Interestingly, another meteor shower peaks on the same night — the Alpha Capricornids. Although this is a much weaker shower, it has been known to produce some bright fireballs during its peak. It will be visible for everyone, regardless of which side of the equator they are on.
The Perseid meteor shower, the most popular of the year, will peak between August 11 and 12 in the Northern Hemisphere.
Here is the meteor shower schedule for the rest of the year, according to EarthSky’s meteor shower outlook.