The conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and a meteor storm – Teach me about science
This weekend, the sky will be accompanied by a beautiful conjunction of Mars and Jupiter and possibly a large number of meteors. The pairing is sure to happen, but a bewildering meteor shower known as Tau Herculids has astronomers so excited, it may light up the night sky of May 30-31 with an astonishing 1,000 meteors per hour!
Early morning May 29: Mars, Jupiter. Mars and Jupiter keep getting closer, and they’ll be just 0.5 degrees away today. Conditions permitting, it will be visible eastward from 4 a.m.
How and when do you see? To enjoy this event, simply look up at the sky from about an hour before sunrise in an easterly direction. We recommend watching from 5:00 AM based on your local time. It can be seen from anywhere, although you have to take into account the weather conditions: you need a clear sky, free of light pollution to enjoy it to the fullest. It is not necessary to leave at the exact moment of conjunction to see the planets and the moon light up nearby in the sky. They are seen with the naked eye, although some binoculars or telescopes improve vision.
Night from May 30 to 31: The Tau of Hercules. Most meteor showers can be expected because they occur annually. This is not the case. Earth will likely pass through a collection of debris from comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 or SW3, but because it is a stellar band and is dense, it is not known exactly whether it will affect the atmosphere until that happens. If it happens this year, the meteor known as Tau Herculids could light up the sky on the night of May 30-31 with a staggering amount of A thousand meteors per hour. This will be the time for it to happen because it coincides with a new moon, which means there is a dark sky and the event will be really amazing.
Meteor storms occur occasionally, with the number of meteors per hour running into the thousands. Also, when these types of events happen, they don’t last for days, they only last for hours. For example, it is said that the Leonid meteorite becomes a meteor storm every 33 years. But Leonid meteor storms occurred in 1833, 1866, 1867, 1966, 1999, 2001 and 2002, and their activity during these years ranged from 1,000 to about 50,000 meteors per hour, According to Star Walk.
Because of this irregularity is difficult to predict. Same goes for Tau Hercules, if the calculations are correct, there will be a show this year that you only see once in a lifetime. Astronomers and hobbyists move to areas with better conditions just in case. Star Walk says there’s a 90% chance that observers will see at least 600 meteors per hour.
How do you see that (if it happened)? It is expected to peak at 1 a.m. EDT on May 31. Its radiant point is the constellation Bootes the Shepherd, if you do not know where it is, do not worry, because in the event of a meteor shower, it will be very clear that you will notice.
If you want to know more details, you can visit our previous article: The best meteor showers of the century could happen later this month. This is what you need to know
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