Monday, May 1, 2017

Halley Comet Pieces Aiming for Earth

A "Hot Spot" has shown up in the Aquarius constellation. It was detected by Canada's Meteor Orbit Radar and its a signal that the Aquarid Meteor shower is off and running. The interesting part of all this, these meteors are part of the famous Halley's Comet. Over the next few days the earth will be traveling through a trail of debris from the comet. This show is known as the Aquarid Meteor Shower.


Two leading meteor forecasters have noted the possibility of eta Aquarid outbursts. Mikhail Maslov says meteor activity could increase on May 4th (14h- 18h UT) when Earth grazes a dust trail released by Comet Halley in the year -616. Forecaster Mikiya Sato agrees that that Earth could encounter the -616 dust trail, but later on May 5th (05h - 15h UT), possibly with such a gentle graze that no special increase is detectable. In most years the strongest activity is seen around May 6th, which may still prove true in 2017.
The best time to look, no matter where you live, is during the dark hours just before dawn when the constellation Aquarius is rising in the east. Monitor the meteor gallery for sightings.

This sky map shows where the radar is detecting pings from incoming meteors in broad daylight on May 1st:

Halley's Comet is a short-period comet visible from Earth every 75–76 years.[3][10] Halley is the only known short-period comet that is regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and the only naked-eye comet that might appear twice in a human lifetime.[11] Halley last appeared in the inner parts of the Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061.[12] - Wikipedia

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