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Up to 200 meteors per hour – today it is possible to enjoy amazing celestial views

Up to 200 meteors per hour – today it is possible to enjoy amazing celestial views

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A stream of shooting stars that had been forgotten could be felt again. Study sees signs of possible outbreak on December 2nd.

MUNICH – December’s Gemini is actually the most productive meteor stream of the year, closely followed by August’s Perseid. But in early December, a small stream of meteors may steal the spotlight from the well-known meteor shower. It’s Andromeda, a stream of meteors that reaches a fuzzy maximum at the end of November and beginning of December and remains largely unnoticed. The Andromedids come from the now broken comet 3D/Biela.

In 1872 and 1885, spectacular waves of meteor showers were recorded, and it is said that thousands of meteors were visible to the naked eye. Chinese records from this period mention “stars falling from the sky like rain.” But since the late 1800s, the stream of shooting stars in the Andromeda galaxies has become little or no longer noticeable – perhaps due to the disintegration of the original comet.

Meteor surprise at the beginning of December: the possibility of up to 200 meteors falling per hour

After some minor activities in recent years, Andromeda can now be active again. At least that’s what a 2013 study suggests In the specialized magazine Astronomical magazine published had become. In this study, the authors simulated dust clouds from a missing comet through which the Earth will fly past and when, and came to the conclusion that an intense Andromeda eruption could be imminent in 2023. Already in 2011, increased meteor activity was measured, at a rate of 50 meteors per hour (ZHR).

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Perseid meteors over Bad Staffelstein. © NEWS5/Merzbach

“Future showers in 2023 and 2036 are four times stronger in our simulation than those in 2011,” the team of study authors wrote. “Observers should pay attention to these phenomena.” It is completely uncertain whether Andromeda will actually experience a massive meteor eruption in 2023. However, to experience it, you should look for meteors on the evening of December 2, 2023 around 8 p.m.

Up to 200 meteors are possible on December 2nd

Shooting stars, if they are visible at all, are said to have their point of origin (the so-called radiant) near the constellations Cassiopeia and Andromeda. These two constellations appear in the sky in the east immediately after sunset. However, it does not stay dark there for long: around 9 p.m., the moon rises in the east, which on December 2 is still a good three-quarters illuminated and therefore bright.

If the expected meteor outbreak occurs, you should be able to see many meteors despite the brightness of the moon. But it is not at all certain whether an outbreak will actually happen. One Calculation NASA contradicts the study conducted in 2013, and does not see any increase in the activity of andromedans this year. (unpaid bill)

Automated assistance was used in writing this article by the editorial team. The article was carefully examined by editor Tanya Banner before publication.