The Tau Herculid meteor shower 2022 is potentially going to dazzle star gazers across the globe. Although it's said to be an 'all or nothing' event - astronomers are extremely excited as this is an entirely new meteor shower.
Luckily this event is occurring on the New Moon, May 2022, which means that moonlight won't cloak the cosmic event. Meteor showers occur when small objects hit the Earth's atmosphere, causing them to burn up. So what you're seeing when you wish upon a shooting star is actually debris from a comet's trail, making its firey passage into our atmosphere.
This potential new meteor shower comes from the trail of the Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (SW3), a comet that was discovered in 1930. According to the Washington Post (opens in new tab), this comet has been in the process of disintegrating since October 16, 2011. This disintegration began after it made its closest approach to the Sun and its fragments, if they hit our atmosphere, will provide a stunning display.
when is the next meteor shower?
According to Space.com (opens in new tab), the tau Herculid meteor shower is forecast to peak on the night of May 30 and early morning of May 31. Well, that's if it happens at all.
Bill Cooke, who leads NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office (opens in new tab) said, “This is going to be an all-or-nothing event."
"If the debris from SW3 was traveling more than 220 miles per hour when it separated from the comet, we might see a nice meteor shower," he explained. "If the debris had slower ejection speeds, then nothing will make it to Earth and there will be no meteors from this comet."
Meteor showers in astrology
The Moon calendar 2022 shows the gravitas of the lunar cycle in astrology - but do meteor showers also have clout? Bex Milford (opens in new tab) - an astrologer, cosmic coach, crystal healer, and founder of Cosmic Cures (opens in new tab) - spoke to woman&home about how meteor showers affect astrology.
As we previously mentioned, meteors are essentially pieces of rock and ice left behind from a comet or asteroid, and when the Earth moves through this trail of cosmic debris we experience a meteor shower. This, says Bex, has great gravitas.
"As they symbolize a ‘crumbling’ of sorts then they can bring about big changes, much in the same way Eclipses in astrology do," she says. "Around the time of a meteor shower then it’s important to notice any revelations, flashes of insight, or sudden impulses that suggest something has ‘broken through’ to the surface for you."
Considering meteors are pieces of crumbling rock and ice, they can also be seen as a representation of the 'hard parts' inside - that we keep hidden from the outside world. Think fears and emotions that have been frozen within us.
Bex explains, "If we’ve experienced trauma or still have wounds we need to face then the ‘trail’ left by them can come to the surface, so it’s an important time to sit with feelings and embrace healing."
The astrologer adds that these stunning events can help us if we've been struggling to understand a situation or solve a problem - helping us find the right approach. "Almost as if the problem has been ‘broken down’," she adds, "much in the way the comet has now broken into smaller pieces."
This means there's the potential of connecting on a far deeper level to the intuitive wisdom within us - to learn more about our true selves, our motivations, our dreams.
Bex also suggests that it's a fantastic time to set intentions and manifest your deepest desires. What else is wishing upon a star after all?
How to watch the Tau Herculid meteor shower
Although it's unclear whether it will happen or not, if you want to chance it, the best way to watch it is to go outside and look up to the night sky. You'll need to find somewhere that's not too lit up, so in the countryside if possible, and prepare to wait as you'll need time for your eyes to adapt.
Why not bring a blanket, chair, hot drinks, and a picnic - and make a night of it. Perhaps even take a notepad and pen so you can take note of any feelings that come up and set some intentions too.
Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.
She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.
Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.
Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.
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