Officially known as 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann or SW3, Comet was discovered in 1930 by German observers Arnold Schwarzman and Arno Arthur Wachmann. NASA said it wasn’t seen again until the late 1970s, and in the 1990s, the comet disintegrated into several parts.
By the time SW3 crossed land again in 2006, it was approximately 70 blocks, and has since continued to fragment further, the report said. It’s not clear if the debris would hit Earth’s atmosphere at speeds high enough to cause meteor showers.
Each year, there are about 30 meteor showers, which occur when Earth crosses the path of debris left by a comet or asteroid, which can be seen with the naked eye.
Meteor showers are usually named after galaxies that appear to shine in the night sky, although Robert Lunsford, Secretary-General of the International Meteorological Organization, has said the Dow Hercules is a misnomer.
In a blog written before Monday’s meteor showers, he said that they will emerge from a galaxy called Buttes, northwest of the bright orange star Arcturus (Alpha Botis).
More meteor showers
There are many opportunities to see meteor showers this year.
The delta basins are best seen from the southern tropics, and the moon peaks between July 28 and 29 with 74% full.
Interestingly, another meteor shower peaked on the same night – the Alpha Capricornids. Although it rains very lightly, it has been known to produce some bright fireballs during its peak. Everyone knows that it is located on which side of the equator.
This year’s most famous meteor shower will peak in the Northern Hemisphere between August 11-12.
- October 8: Dragonites
- October 21: Orionites
- November 4-5: South Darets
- November 11-12: North Darets
- November 17: Leonids
- December 13-14: Gemini
- December 22: Urchits
Ashley Strickland contributed to this report.