Tonight, the rain of shooting stars from Tau-Herculids will it turn into a meteor storm? At least that’s what many astronomers predict. † nearly 1,000 light trails per hour can illuminate the sky star.
We know the fame of the Perseids, but much less that of the Tau-Herculids. However, this intense meteor shower is much more impressive. The reason ? Not 100 meteors per hour are expected, but rather 1000. This celestial rendezvous, described by NASA as “the most spectacular astronomical event of the last ten years”, could happen on the night of Monday May 30 to Tuesday May 31, 2022.
Named after the constellation Hercules, the Tau-Herculides meteor shower is the result of the intersecting debris from Comet 73P (including its recent fragmentation dating back to 1995). Other fragments from 1892 and 1897 could also be on their way to Earth, explaining the magnitude of the coming meteor storm.
However, this long-awaited celestial ballet will only take place on one condition: that the space debris moves at very high speed. If their pace is too slow, they will not “overtake” the Earth and therefore will not pass through our vault of heaven. If initial estimates are optimistic, tension is still at its peak.
Our work suggests that the contrail ejected during the 1995 pass will meet Earth on May 31, 2022, with a peak centered at 05:01 UT (7:01 a.m. Paris time).†
Jérémie Vaubaillon of the Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Ephemeris Calculation (IMCCE)
How to observe the Tau Herculids?
The Tau-Herculides meteor shower should be visible at dawn in Western Europe, and more specifically around 7 a.m. Good news for those who get up early. However, the absence of darkness can impair vision.
Will we witness the most spectacular meteor shower of the century? Answer within a few hours!