Looking for something to do tonight? Pack the family into the car, go for a drive out into the hills, look up at the night sky and wait. A meteor shower is going to decorate the night sky from 7 pm tonight!
There are actually going to be 2 incredible space events tonight. Firstly the ‘Christmas Comet’ will open the show, but you’ll need binoculars or a telescope to spot that guy. It’s expected to emerge from 7 pm AWDT as a green and fuzzy comet in the east.
“The green colour is coming from the gas that is coming off the comet,” Dr Tucker (ANU Astronomer). “There is a bunch of ice on it and methane — it’s essentially like a dirty snowball and so when it goes around the sun it melts … and is a steamy, stinky green glow.” This will be a rare chance for Australians will have to catch a glimpse of the comet, which appears only once every five years.
Following that will be hundreds of meteors that will be easy to spot. This meteor shower is made up of grain-of-sand size rocks that have come off the asteroid. They burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere travelling tens of thousands of kilometres an hour!
The event should be easily visible as long as clouds don’t creep across the sky and travelling out of the city lights will definitely help.