COLORADO SPRINGS — A spectacular cosmic showing may light up the night sky with the tau Herculids meteor shower, predicted by NASA.
You can expect to see the tau Herculids on the night of May 30 into the early morning of May 31. The peak time to watch the predicted meteor shower is around 1 a.m. on the East Coast or 10 p.m. on the West Coast, according to NASA.
Earth will pass through the debris trails of a broken comet known as 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, or SW3. The comet, which broke into large fragments back in 1995 is not supposed to reach this point in its orbit until August. However, if these fragments were ejected with speeds greater than twice the normal speeds, which would be fast enough to reach Earth, there may be a meteor shower. Spitzer observations published in 2009 indicate that some fragments are indeed moving fast enough.
According to NASA, if a meteor shower does occur, the tau Herculids move slower by meteor standards meaning they may be fainter than other meteor showers.
Observers in North America have the best chance of seeing a tau Herculid shower under clear, dark skies.