According to an article published by the Brazilian Meteorite Monitoring Network (Pramon), a meteor storm is an unusual meteor shower, which has an outburst of such intensity that it is capable of producing thousands of meteors per hour.
Recent studies show that meteor storms are usually caused by dense clouds of particles ejected through a comet or the fragmentation of an asteroid. Over time, this cloud spreads out into the orbit of the parent body forming annual meteor showers. Therefore, the more recently a comet or asteroid fragmentation occurred, the denser the cloud, and the greater the intensity of the resulting meteor storm.
According to Bramon, the dust trail that Comet 73P leaves annually generates smaller meteor showers, known as Tau-Herculids, which since the dissolution of Comet 73P in 1995, many astronomers have made calculations after calculation.
The great difficulty in predicting meteorite dates and rates is knowing precisely how quickly particles are expelled during the disintegration of large masses. However, everything indicates that this year the Earth will pass through the cloud of debris left by comet 73P in 5 previous passes, including the passage of 1995, when the comet ruptured. ”
This should provide at least three outbreaks of Tau-Herculidae:
“At approximately 00:11 (Brasilia time) on May 31, the first outbreak should occur, when Earth crosses debris trails left by the comet in 1892 and 1941. For this outbreak, the number of meteors is expected to reach 50 meteorites per hour. .
The second outbreak should occur in the early hours of May 31, by the time the Earth reaches the dense path launched by the 1995 rupture. As this will be the first time we have crossed that path, there is not much consensus on that. is the exact time when that will happen, but probably around 2:15 a.m. (Brasilia time), the same moment we’ll cut the remaining path in the comet’s corridor in 1979. At this time, basic modeling suggests a rate of 600 to 700 meteors per hour. . However, according to the article, given that in 1995 comet 73P split into several parts, the intensity of such an outbreak can reach 10,000, or perhaps 100,000 meteors per hour during its maximum.
A final eruption of Tau-Herculides can be observed on the night between June 25 and 26 when, around 23:58 (Brazilian time), Earth will encounter a series of debris left by a comet in its perihelion in 1930. The severity of this outbreak should have been much smaller, About 3 meteors per hour.”
According to Bramon, the best night to celebrate the 2022 Tau-Herculids will be between May 30 and May 31.
In Brazil, according to Bramon, only a fraction of the expected maximum of Tau-Herculídeas can be observed. At the time of the rain’s greatest intensity, around 2:15 a.m. on the 31st, the radiation will be close to the horizon, making it difficult to see the meteors.
Residents of the North and Midwest regions will enjoy the privilege. For them, the intensity of rain can reach between 30 and 50% of the maximum expected. For other regions of the country, it is between 10 and 30%. It sounds small, but if the best-case scenario is confirmed, it could mean tens of thousands of meteors per hour.
The best places on the planet to follow this phenomenon are Mexico and the United States. There, the radiation will be very high at the moment of maximum, which will allow to contemplate the phenomenon in its completeness.
The biggest meteor storm
According to Bramon, the most famous meteor storm in history occurred on the night between November 12 and 13, 1833, when the Leonidas eruption caused a spectacle in the sky over the United States.
There were thousands of meteors strewn across the sky at all times, some of them forming fireballs that lit up the night.
It is estimated that over 100,000 meteors were seen every hour that night.