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Meteor shower tonight: How to see Tau Herculids, watch online


Those who enjoy observing the night sky may be in for a real treat tonight.

This infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the broken Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 skimming along a trail of debris left during its multiple trips around the sun. The flame-like objects are the comet’s fragments and their tails, while the dusty comet trail is the line bridging the fragments.NASA

On Monday, May 30th, the Tau Herculids meteor shower will be visible from the late evening until the early morning hours. The Tau Herculids shower has the potential to become a “meteor storm,” delivering an explosion of as many as 1,000 meteors per hour, despite the warnings of scientists.

It’s possible we won’t see any meteors at all.


73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, or SW3, is a fractured comet that will pass across Earth’s debris path on the night of May 30 into the early morning of May 31, NASA said.

There may be a meteor shower, if pieces were thrown at twice the average speed—fast enough to reach Earth—says Lee Mohon of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. Spitzer observations from 2009 show that at least some fragments are travelling quickly enough. Astronomers are ecstatic for this reason, among others.

“We have no idea what we’ll find. The best we can do is hope for the best.


The Tau Herculids are expected to be a feeble meteor shower if it does materialise, moving slowly compared to other meteor showers.

Around midnight CDT, observers in North America with clear, dark sky have the best chance of seeing the Tau Herculid.

Using the Virtual Telescope Project, you can also see the meteor shower.


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