Skip to comments.Bits of Halley's Comet to Rain Down in Meteor Show
Posted on 05/06/2011 8:14:22 PM PDT by Beowulf9
Remember Halley's comet? Twenty-five years ago thousands of people peered through telescopes to see it whiz by.
Early Saturday morning stargazers will have the chance to see bits of the comet rain down during the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower.
Meteor showers are named after the constellation that their radiant is in, in this case -- the constellation Aquarius. The shower stems from the "water jar" near one of the constellations brightest stars, Eta Aquariid.
NEWS: Did the Greeks See Halley's Comet First?
The Eta Aquarids are created by bits of material from Halley's Comet as it travels through the solar system on its 76-year orbit. They were first reported in old Chinese records from the 8th century, although some have contended the Greeks spotted them first around 466 B.C. They were later confirmed in 1900 by astronomer William F. Denning.
This year, the display peaks during the early hours of May 6.
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NASA astronomer William Cooke explains that many of the meteors are likely to be "Earth Grazers," meaning they'll hit our atmosphere at a shallow angle. This could lead to very long, dazzling trails. Cooke instructs to see the meteors, look straight up if you're in the southern hemisphere and straight up and slightly to the east if you're in the northern hemisphere.
As Cooke says: "Let your eyes adjust to the dark, and be patient."
1986 was only 25 years ago? Wow, now I feel younger. Just hope we keep on getting easy-to-see comets and not easy-to-spot supernovas.
“This year, the display peaks during the early hours of May 6”
Then, shouldn’t they have warned us last night. It is already the late hours of May 6th.
Is it possible they mean May 7th, between midnight and 4 am, or something like that?
I would like to see it.
This is evolution being proved true.
Comets are left over from all the hullabaloo of the big bang or something from billions of years ago and whirls through the universe decaying rapidly. Yeah, the decay rate is so rapid there shouldn’t be any left, but what’s a plot hole when evolution is in play?
" Early Saturday morning stargazers will have the chance to see bits of the comet rain down during the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower."
Thanks. Sorry to say in our home, sleep won out over star gazing.
Appreciate your clarification anyway. :)
Observing the Eta Aquarids...Hajduk noted that the Eta Aquarids occur when Earth is 0.065 AU from the stream's core, while the Orionids occur when Earth is 0.15 AU away. According to the Springhill data, there is a smaller variation between the annual activity rates for the Eta Aquarids than exists for the Orionids. The evolution of this stream was discussed during 1983, by B. A. McIntosh (Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, Ottawa, Canada) and Hajduk. They published the details of a proposed model of the meteor stream produced by Halley's comet. Using a 1981 study published by D. K. Yeomans and Tao Kiang, which examined the orbit of Halley's comet back to 1404 BC, McIntosh and Hajduk theorized that "the meteoroids simply exist in orbits where the comet was many revolutions ago." Further perturbations have acted to mold the stream into a shell-like shape containing numerous debris belts. These belts are considered as the explanation as to why both the Orionids and Eta Aquarids experience activity variations from one year to the next.
Meteor Showers Online by Gary W. Kronk
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