Shattered comet to ‘grow’ new meteor shower in SIX DAYS

A NEW meteor shower could be emanating from a crumbling comet, and here’s how you can watch it.

On the evening of Monday, May 30th, astronomy lovers can watch a brand new meteor shower lighting up the night sky.

A new meteor shower could become visible on the evening of May 30th


A new meteor shower could become visible on the evening of May 30thPhoto credit: Getty

Dubbed the “Tau Hercules,” this meteor show could be one of the most dramatic observations in over two decades, according to

What are meteor showers?

Meteor showers occur when dust or particles from asteroids or comets enter the Earth’s atmosphere at very high speeds.

This particular display of “shooting stars” is expected to be the product of a comet named 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, also known as SW3.

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SW3 was first discovered in 1930 but didn’t reappear until the 1970s, reports Republic World.

And then, in 1995, astronomers observed the comet’s nucleus split into four smaller pieces, according to CNET.

Since then, the comet has only continued to break up into dozens of smaller chunks and tiny bits of debris and dust.

In 2006, the comet was in at least 70 pieces as it approached Earth.

Here’s what we know

Nasa expects a meteorite display on the evening of May 30th through May 31st.

The meteor fragments should enter Earth’s atmosphere at about 10 miles per hour — which is on the slower side.

Additionally, the display is expected to be highly visible in the northern hemisphere as it takes place on a moonless night.

“This is going to be an all-or-nothing event,” said Bill Cooke, who heads NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, in a report.

“If the debris from SW3 was traveling at more than 220 mph when it separated from the comet, we could see a nice meteor shower.”

How to watch the meteor shower

An expert consensus predicts the shower will be visible on May 31 at 1 a.m. Eastern Time (or May 30 at 10 p.m. Pacific Time).

To increase your chances of seeing the celestial event, be outside at least an hour beforehand to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness.

“The US Southwest and Mexico are preferred locations because the radiant, the region of the sky where these meteors come from, will be highest in a dark sky,” writes Robert Lunsford for AMS.

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“The eruption can be seen from southeastern Canada and the rest of the (eastern) US, but at a lower elevation.”

As with any meteor shower, there is no guarantee that you will definitely spot it as sometimes it just comes down to luck, being in the right place at the right time.

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Chris Barrese

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