You may be able to see meteors in the eastern skies tonight if you have clear weather. Astronomy expert Todd Young says a brief meteor storm will take place beginning at 10:30 p.m. where you can see quite a sky show.
“The rate would be upwards of 400 per hour. Quite a dramatic jump from a shower — which is usually somewhere around ten to maybe 30 per hour,” Young says.
Meteors are debris left behind by comets and Young says this storm is from an unknown comet that probably has not been seen for over 500 years. It is suspected to be the debris of a long period comet from the Oort Cloud that surrounds the solar system.
And the Oort Cloud is actually a spherical distribution of chunks of ice and rocks that are much farther away than people realize,” Young says. “And the Oort cloud is usually not typically depicted as being part of the solar system because it is so far from the sun — yet still part of it.”
Young says the meteor storm will be visible low to the horizon, so viewers will want to be up high and away from city lights. He says you should go out and scout out a good view of the eastern horizon on a hill by 10:30.
“You’ll see these streaks of light. They’ll look like they’ll be coming right over the horizon,” says Young.
The meteor storm is expected to be short lived, lasting only 15 to 45 minutes.
By Dar Danielson of Radio Iowa