There’s a very strange comet flying through our solar neighborhood that unlike any other comet astronomers have seen.
This had led some to speculate that this comet is not from around here — instead, it came to us from a completely different solar system, far way.
Meteor showers typically come from the dusty, rocky guts that comets leave behind as they fly through the solar system. When Earth passes through a comet’s tail, its gravitational pull attracts their debris, which then enters the atmosphere, burns up, and is seen as a falling star, or meteor.
HOW TO VIEW THE EVENT
This week’s show of falling stars is called the Delta Aquarid meteor shower.
The shower takes place from July 12 through August 23, but the best time to catch a glimpse — when the most meteors are streaking across the sky — will be early Wednesday morning, after moon-set and before sunrise centered around 2 a.m. (for all time zones), according to EarthSky.
The Delta Aquarid meteor shower is not as spectacular as next month’s Perseid meteor shower, and the full moon will make it hard to spot the meteors. Therefore, you’ll want to wait until the moon has set (calculate that here) and then get to a place with dark skies, far from city lights.
At peak viewing time you should see between 10 to 20 meteors an hour.
To glimpse the meteors all you have to do is lie on your back and keep your eyes peeled in the direction of the constellation Aquarius — each meteor shower is named for the constellation where the meteors seem to appear from, hence the name “Delta Aquarid.” You can determine where Aquarius will be in your night sky at 2 a.m. with an astronomy app like Stellarium.
But don’t worry if you can’t get out of the city or aren’t willing to stay up until 2 a.m., you can still watch the meteor shower live. Slooh, an online observatory, will be broadcasting the meteor shower live starting on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.
The meteor shower will peak in late July. This year, 2015, is not particularly favorable because of the almost-full moon. In fact, the blue moon – the second of two July full moons – will come on July 31.
In years when the moon is out of the way, the broad maximum of this shower can be expected to produce 15 to 20 meteors per hour in the predawn hours around July 29. The upside is that a nearly-full waning gibbous moon coinciding with the peak of the Delta Aquarids means it’s a slender waxing crescent moon that sets at early evening on the peak nights of the 2015 Perseid shower (August 11 and 12).
In any case, the August Perseid shower is probably your best bet for watching meteors in the summer of 2015.
Best time to look for both the Perseids and the Delta Aquarids is between midnight and dawn.
Origins of Comet 67P/Machholz
While Comet 67P/Machholz is one of the main comets thought to generate the Delta Aquarid meteor shower, that point is still debatable.
What is known is how strange this comet is compared to most other comets in our solar system. And its bizarre qualities are what have led scientists to think this comet was somehow flung far from its home somewhere in interstellar space only to later be caught up in our sun’s gravity.
“First its orbit is about as unround as possible. This alone suggests a capture-origin, but doesn’t prove it,” Berman told Business Insider in an email. “But stranger still is its composition, measured spectroscopically during its close 2007 visit. This shows an almost total lack of carbon and cyanogen, very un-cometlike.”
Comet 67P/Machholz also travels extremely close to the sun during its orbital path. In fact, it gets even closer than the inner-most planet Mercury.
For this reason, Berman says that this comet’s odd chemical composition might be from “its repeated closer approaches to the sun [which] could have broiled away its carbon.”
Join us at: He Is Coming -Are You Ready?
Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, and rose again for the sole purpose of saving us from our sins. Are you saved? The bible declares that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13 (KJV). Salvation is turning your life over to Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus is the son of God, and renewing your mind with his spirit, that is done through repentance of sin, and following JESUS with all your heart, mind and soul. JESUS transforms lives, if you are ready for this life saving step, call upon your savior TODAY! Learn more here.
And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke (Acts 2:19 KJV).
”..keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith…”-1 Timothy 6:20-21 (KJV).
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; – Luke 21:25 (KJV).
And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken- Mark 13:25 (KJV).
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork -Psalm 19:1 (KJV).
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up- 2 Peter 3:10 (KJV).
Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth- Isaiah 40:26 (KJV).
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind- Revelation 6:13 (KJV).