BOSTON – Though it is far from a certainty, a “once in a lifetime” meteor storm is possible Monday night into the early morning hours of Tuesday.
The Tau Herculid meteors may be visible throughout North America as Earth passes through the remains of a comet that split apart in 1995.
A meteor shower is classified as a meteor storm when at least 1,000 meteors per hour are produced.
“A couple of caveats with this. If this were to come to fruition it would be a once in a lifetime type meteor shower. One thousand per hour is a giant number. But we have to be careful. There is a chance this may not come to fruition, but it’s definitely worth mentioning,” WBZ-TV meteorologist Jacob Wycoff said.
The last time a similar event happened in the 1960s, there were so many meteors in the sky that it gave the impression that people were dizzy. Some people had to sit down on the ground to regain their balance because it was so overwhelming.
Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society wrote that the meteors entering the atmosphere must be larger than normal in order to be seen from the ground. As a result, the meteor storm is unlikely.
“We believe that this event has a chance of being something spectacular and that we would be remiss by not publicizing it,” he added.
If the event does come together, the weather will cooperate in New England. We expect mainly clear skies with only some passing clouds on Monday night.
Temperatures will be the in 70s, dipping into the 60s in spots.