Shattered comet could produce dazzling meteor shower: How to watch the tau Herculids
A once lost, crumbling comet could deliver a brand-new meteor shower to Earth next week. The shower, which has been called the tau Herculids, is set to fall from the shattered SW3 comet beginning May 30 and peaking on May 31 between 12:45 p. NASA astronomer Bill Cooke described the comet’s possible upcoming appearance in a NASA statement as an “all or nothing event. “If the debris from SW3 was traveling more than 220 miles per hour [354 km/h] when it separated from the comet, we might see a nice meteor shower,” Cooke said.
The SW3, or the 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, comet was named after its discoverers, the German astronomers Arnold Schwassmann and Arno Arthur Wachmann. Then, in 1935, the comet disappeared from sight, coming and going eight times without being seen until it was finally spotted again in 1979. The best locations to spot the meteor shower will be in the Southwest, the AMS said. “The southwestern USA and Mexico are favored locations as the radiant, the area of the sky where these meteors come from, will be located highest in a dark sky,” Robert Lunsford wrote on the society’s blog.
The best place to look for the comet is the constellation Boötes, which is just next to the star Arcturus, according to EarthSky. “If it makes it to us this year, the debris from SW3 will strike Earth’s atmosphere very slowly, traveling at just 10 miles [16 km] per second — which means much fainter meteors than those belonging to the eta Aquariids,” NASA wrote in its blog post.
Read full article at Verve Times