Tau Herculids meteor shower lights up UAE sky and thrills stargazers across globe

Astronomers capture more than 1,500 images of celestial event

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A spectacular meteor shower which fell to Earth for the first time lit up UAE skies on Tuesday night and dazzled stargazers across the globe.

It was expected that the Tau Herculids showers would create a meteor storm, in which 1,000 meteors streak across the sky every hour.

While astronomers in the UAE were able to capture more than 1,500 images of meteors on camera, they were taken over a number of hours.

The showers also produced stunning shooting stars that were visible in other parts of the world, including North America.

“The UAE Astronomical Cameras Network operated by the International Astronomical Centre captured more than 1,500 photos for the meteors last night,” the International Astronomical Centre tweeted.

These showers are new because debris from the comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, or SW3, has struck Earth’s atmosphere for the first time.

The comet was discovered in 1930 by two German astronomers. It was so faint that it was not seen again until the late 1970s.

It was in the 1990s when astronomers realised that the comet had become about 600 times brighter and visible to the naked eye.

It split into several pieces and is littering its orbit with debris, creating the meteor shower that is now visible for the first time from Earth.

Nasa said the debris from the comet was expected to strike Earth’s atmosphere at about 16 kilometres per second.

Updated: June 01, 2022, 9:14 AM