July 2, 2022

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A comet that separated in 1995 could produce a rare meteor storm Tau Hercules on Memorial Day: 'Amazing thing'

A comet that separated in 1995 could produce a rare meteor storm Tau Hercules on Memorial Day: ‘Amazing thing’

It might be a long shot, but “something amazing” could be coming to heaven this weekend. Experts say there is a possibility for people living anywhere in the Americas to see an extremely rare meteor storm on Memorial Day after sunset.

Meteors may be visible as Earth passes through the remains of a comet that split three decades ago and is still fragmenting, reports CBS Denver Reports. The comet – named “Schwassmann-Wachmann 3” – began imploding in 1995, and its debris is expected to intersect Earth’s orbit that could lead to a massive meteor shower called Tau Herculids.

The Hubble Advanced Camera for Reconnaissance captured images of the disintegration of the part of Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3.

NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (APL/JHU), M. Mutchler and Z. Levay (STScI)


A meteor shower is classified as a meteor storm when at least 1,000 meteors are produced per hour.

“If it really goes through this choppy path, you can see a lot of meteors every hour,” Fraser Kane, publisher of the astronomy outlet Today Universe, KCBS Radio said.

However, Robert Lunsford from American Meteor Society He says that meteors entering the atmosphere must be larger than normal to be visible from Earth.

Because of that, Lunsford says meteor showers are highly unlikely – but adds: “We think this event has a chance to be something spectacular and we’d be remiss if we didn’t report it.”

according to EarthSky.org, the famous 1966 meteor storm Leonid produced meteors falling at a rate of 40 meteors per second. Eyewitnesses said they felt like they had to hold the ground because of the impression that the Earth was moving through space.

NASA Astronomers say they have been observing the comet for nearly a century, and the comet’s trajectory and path around the sun are well understood.

“Amateur and professional astronomers around the world have been tracking its astonishing disintegration for years,” NASA said.

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