Taking Part in The Conversation: Meteor Showers of 2018

Meteor Shower

If you were looking at the sky last week on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 8:10 p.m. in Michigan, chances are you saw the bright flash of a falling meteor. As it turns out, that may not be the last time you see such a spectacle—that is, if you know when and where to look. Jonti Horner, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland, and Tanya Hill, an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne, have published a guide on The Conversation to the best meteor showers of 2018. Here are a few upcoming shows of “nature’s fireworks”:

Taurids (Sept. 10 – Dec. 10): Taurids occur when Earth passes through a vast swathe of debris known as the Taurid stream. Because the stream is so spread out, the Earth spends a quarter of a year passing through it. “The Taurids are slow meteors and feature plenty of bright fireballs. So even though their rates are low, they are well worth looking out for.”

Orionids (Oct. 2 – Nov. 7): The Orionids occur throughout October when Earth runs through the stream of debris around the orbit of Comment 1P/Halley. “The Orionid radiant rises in the late evening and is only really high enough in the sky for reasonable rates to be seen after midnight. As a result, the best rates are usually observed in the hours before dawn.” 

Geminids (Dec. 4 – 17): The Geminids are a relatively new discovery; they were first observed only 150 years ago. This is because their orbit is rapidly shifting over time. “Geminids are medium-speed meteors and are often bright. The individual meteors also seem to last just [a] bit longer than other showers.”

To read the full guide of 2018 meteor showers, check out the article at https://theconversation.com/look-up-your-guide-to-some-of-the-best-meteor-showers-for-2018-86053