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NASA warns of the strongest meteor storm that may hit Earth soon

(MENAFN– Palestine News Network

Bethlehem / PNN – The US space agency, “NASA”, warned that the Earth will be subjected to a meteor storm next week, which may be the strongest in many years, as parts of the dying comet SW3 are expected to be visible in the United States and parts of Canada.

Comet SW3, split into large pieces in 1995, and has continued to fragment more since then, and is responsible for the dust fragments that cause meteor showers called “Tau Hercules”, according to the British newspaper, “Daily Mail”.

Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the trail of debris left by a comet or an asteroid, and most meteor showers can be predicted, as they repeat annually when they cross the Earth according to a specific path of debris, however, the Earth sometimes passes through a narrow and dense mass of space dust that turns into thousands of fast-moving stars.

This phenomenon is known as a “meteor storm”, and provides a wonderful sight for stargazers, and the German astronomers Arnold Schwasmann and Arno Arthur Wachmann first observed comet SW3 in 1930, and over time this comet became very faint, but in 1995 it became brighter by about 400 Once unexpectedly, it was visible to the naked eye.

The comet’s ice core split into 4 sections, releasing massive amounts of gas and debris that persisted as it orbited the sun. By 2006, the shattered comet consisted of 68 pieces.

It has likely collapsed further since then, and computer modeling indicates that SW3’s comet fragments have been spreading out of its orbit like probes. However, these fragments are not visible until they cross Earth’s orbit.

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According to NASA, the meteor debris is scheduled to cross the path of our planet, on May 31, and the brightness of the meteor storm will depend on the amount of debris thrown in front of comet SW3, if any, and this will be the first time that Earth meets with the debris of the comet, since Its crash happened in 1995.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for space enthusiasts to get outside and experience one of the most vibrant displays of natural lighting,” said Bill Cook, director of NASA’s Meteor Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

He added that “if debris from the SW3 meteorite was traveling more than 220 miles per hour 354 km/h, when it separated from the comet, we might see a nice meteor shower,” explaining that “if the debris had slower ejection velocities, nothing would reach Earth and would not There will be meteors from this comet.”

Some models indicate that there will be a strong meteor shower, while others predict that the cosmic fragments will shorten the Earth’s path, and the debris stream left by comet SW3 in 1995 is scheduled to cross the Earth’s orbit, between 00:45 and 01:17 AM, EST early next Tuesday morning.

This is expected to last up to two hours, and this phenomenon will be visible in North and South America, where very dark skies will give the maximum brightness.