Daytime Shooting Star?
Here's what you need to know if you hope to catch a falling star this month
Published Monday, May 15, 2017 12:26PM ADT
Last Updated Monday, May 15, 2017 12:48PM ADT
It might seem odd to do chin-ups on a bluff overlooking the entrance to Halifax Harbour, but I’m really glad that’s what Lee Rodgers decided to do on Saturday. Why? Lee captured a fairly rare daytime shooting star:
Is that even possible?
The answer is yes! Rare and unpredictable, very bright meteors are sometimes seen during the day. There have been quite a few documented sightings. For example, On April 22nd 2012, a large daytime meteor streaked across the sky over California and Nevada. This meteor was so large, it created a sonic boom that rattled windows. It was seen by thousands. Later, astronomers said “the meteor began as a mini-van-sized asteroid”; they eventually located a debris field containing fragments of the meteorite.
And the timing is good:
Earlier this month, the Eta Aquarid meteor shower kicked into gear. This meteor shower’s claim to fame is that it is created by leftover pieces of Halley’s Comet which last swung past Earth in 1986. The famous comet won't be back until 2062, but every year we can still see sand grain-size particles shed by this icy visitor burn up high above our heads.
For this year, the best display likely already passed since the peak was expected to be around May 5/6th; having said that, the event does not wrap up until the end of the month.
This is typically a fairly active shower; astronomers expect up to 50 meteors an hour will be visible streaking through the northeast skies.
Later this week, the clouds will clear so you could check it out for yourself. You might not be as lucky as Lee was, and get to see one during the day, but like Grandma always said, you certainly won't if you don't look up.
So, here's the video.. check it out: https://youtu.be/QQ5qDnL5dJI You might have to watch it a few times but it’s quite something: a daytime meteor!
Thanks for sharing Lee!