Tau Herculids Meteor Shower Turned Out To Be Pretty Good


Last week we mentioned that a meteor shower called the Tau Herculids could produce as many as 100 meteorites per hour. However, there was a chance that none would enter the atmosphere, and the meteor shower would be a bust.

It turns out that the meteor shower did not produce the maximum 100 meteorites per hour, but it was impressive for some skywatchers nonetheless. The meteor shower produced 10 to 25 meters per hour at its peak around 1 AM Eastern time.

This was a new meteor shower, which makes it very rare. The shower was created by a comet known as SW3. That particular comet was discovered in 1930, and when it came near the earth in 2006, it had broken into about 70 pieces. Debris from the fragmenting comet is what caused the meteor shower.

While the Tau Herculids is a new meteor shower, some have been around for millennia. For example, the first recorded account of the Perseid meteor shower was made in China about 2000 years ago.