Stargazers have a great chance to catch meteor showers this weekend! However, there’s a lot more coming towards Earth! From meteors, and asteroids to China’s rocket debris, know all here.
Skywatchers get ready! This weekend may well bring some interesting views in the night sky for you. You may get as many as 20 meteors, or “shooting stars” an hour, this weekend. However, while the meteor showers are still to happen, there were a couple of asteroids that just swing by the Earth this weekend. But there is another one that will come close and that is on August 4. And then there is the case of the falling debris from China’s rocket. This may sound scary, but the meteor showers may excite you. Here’s all you need to know.
You can expect several shooting stars coming this weekend. These Delta-Aquarid and alpha Capricornid meteor showers combine under dark moonless skies caused by dust and debris being left in the inner Solar System by Comet 96P/Machholz. While, alpha Capricornids meteor shower comes from comet 169P/NEAT. EarthSky says, “Take advantage of the moon-free mornings in late July and early August for watching the Delta Aquariids.. The Delta Aquariids’ maximum hourly rate can reach 15 to 20 meteors in a dark sky with no moon.”
Two giant asteroids that just buzzed the Earth
Just a day ago, a 400 feet-wide huge asteroid dubbed 2016 CZ31 buzzed past Earth at a distance of about 3 million miles. Another about 600-feet wide asteroid called 2013 CU83 made its closest approach to Earth and came within 4,320,000 miles today. However, that is far beyond the Moon itself.
Chinese rocket debris to fall on Earth!
The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies predicted that the debris of a massive Chinese rocket would re-enter Earth’s atmosphere around 18:16 UTC (11:35 pm IST) on July 30, 2022. This is the second “Wentian” module which was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Site, China on July 24, 2022 on a Chinese Long March 5B rocket. Its rocket core will return to Earth, however, it’s not clear exactly where it will land.