Tau Herculids meteor shower 2022: May 30-31 could see 1,000 shooting stars per hour

NEW DELHIEdited By: Nikhil PandeyUpdated: May 30, 2022, 12:27 PM IST

Representational image Photograph:(AFP)

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The Tau Herculids, a potentially new — and brief — meteor shower that could appear before the end of the month. This meteor shower will either go down in history or won't appear at all, which is a fascinating duality for a science like astronomy, which is normally more certain about phenomena like meteor showers.

While the term "shooting star" is a misnomer, seeing a bright object arc across the night sky is a sight to behold. We witness shooting stars when tiny particles collide with Earth's atmosphere and burn up during their rapid passage.

May will finish with a cosmic surprise owing to a comet that is now being shattered. According to NASA, the comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann or SW3 will produce a spectacular meteor shower on the night of May 30 and the early morning of May 31. According to NASA, the next Tau Herculids meteor shower could be one of the brightest in the sky this year.

The debris cloud that resulted from the disintegration of the 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (SW3) comet caused the Tau Herculids meteor shower. The comet vanished after its discovery in 1930 and reappeared in the 1970s. The comet appeared normal after its re-discovery until 1995, and was difficult to spot without a telescope. However, additional observation revealed that the comet had brightened by roughly 600 times and was now easier to see with the naked eye.

The comet's brightness was confirmed as a result of SW3's disintegration, since it had split into many pieces and was leaving an orbital path formed of its own debris, according to the astronomers.

The comet was in roughly 70 pieces when it reached Earth in 2006, according to the researchers, and has continued to fracture since then.

When to see the Tau Herculid meteor shower?

It's probable that we'll see the birth of a brand new meteor shower named the tau Herculids on the evening of May 30 into the morning of May 31. There's even a chance it'll erupt into a stunning outburst or a historic meteor storm that skywatchers will remember for years.

Visibility in India

The meteor shower will not be seen from India.It will only be visible in parts of North America. Under a clear, dark sky, the best chance of seeing a tau Herculid shower occurs in North America. The best time to watch is at 1 a.m. on the East Coast, and around 10 p.m. on the West Coast.


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