Halley’s Comet left behind debris that will give way to a meteor shower visible from Earth early Tuesday morning. According to Space.com via Yahoo! News, stargazers have the best chance of seeing the light show just before dawn. Halley’s Comet will actually provide a sight to see not once but twice this year despite not making a trip to the inner atmosphere. The first shower will be on May 6 and the second will be in October.
According to Space.com:
“Halley’s Comet made its last pass through the inner solar system in 1986 and it’s not due back until the summer of 2061. Nonetheless, each time Halley sweeps around the sun, it leaves behind a dusty trail — call it ‘cosmic litter’ — that ends up trailing behind the comet.
The meteor shower coming on Tuesday morning is referred to as the Eta Aquarid. This shower appears to come from the constellation Aquarius and occurs every year between April 21 and May 20. This type of shower can produce over 60 meteors per hour which can be seen only in the clearest of skies. The October meteor shower is called the Orionid which has a starting point of the constellation Orion. The meteor rate per hour is a bit higher with some 70 meteors seen per hour in many cases (via Wikipedia).
The best places to see the Eta Aquarid is south of the equator. While still visible from the northern hemisphere, the timing is very tricky. Just as the meteors begin to pick up in intensity, the sun will begin to rise.
The meteor shower might not sound like something getting up for but some would beg to differ. Many people have seen shooting stars known as “earthgrazers” which “leave colorful, long-lasting trails.” If you were to see only one earthgrazer, it would be a sight that you wouldn’t soon forget.
Sometimes the sky can be unpredictable and meteors can strike at any time. As previously reported by Inquisitr.com, a recent meteor sighting in Russia left several people stunned. Sometimes seeing something miraculous only takes looking to the night sky.
If you’re awake early enough to catch a glimpse on Tuesday, don’t be too disappointed if you don’t see anything. You’ll have a better shot in October — or you can always check out the meteor shower online. Space.com has live coverage (and there’s even a fun countdown to get you ready for the big event) that anyone can check out.
Have you ever seen a meteor shower? Will you try to get a glimpse of the Eta Aquarid on Tuesday morning?
[Photo courtesy of Bing]