Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 29, 2022

Possible new meteor shower

“a small chance of something extraordinary” – space.com

On the evening of May 30 into the morning of May 31, it’s possible we will see the birth of a brand new meteor shower called the tau Herculids as our planet crosses the orbit of a tiny crumbling comet called 73P/SW3 that’s been falling apart since 1995. It could even erupt into a dramatic outburst or historic meteor storm that skywatchers will talk about for years to come. 

If this happens, the peak will occur at 10:04 pm PDT on May 30. The new moon occurs early on May 30, so Anza-Borrego will have a perfect dark sky for viewing, away from the city lights. The radiant will be high in the sky. Look towards the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). The meteors will appear to emanate outwards from a point in the sky just to the left of the dipper’s handle. 

Of course, we might see very little action, but wouldn’t it be great to watch if it does turn out to be a spectacular show? Any time spent under the nighttime sky is never time wasted.

Sources: space.com, skyandtelescope.org, nasa.gov, earthsky.org, cnet.com


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