Figure 1- Joey Ambrose captured this impressive mulit-colored fireball at 23:31 MST on May 30, 2022 from Vail, Arizona. This was during the outburst of meteors from Comet SW3, which this fireball was most likely a member. The terminal orange color was typical of what many observers reported for the brighter meteors. ⒸJoey Ambrose[/caption]
Figure 2- The same fireball as above was also seen from western Arizona in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. This photo, by Javor Kac, captures the fireball near the southern horizon shooting through the constellation of Telescopium. ⒸJavor Kac[/caption]
Figure 3- Rob Colatutto captured 26 meteors from comet SW3 overlooking Lake Cuyamaca, CA, east of San Diego. He was photographing between 9:04pm and 11:03pm PDT on May 30th, using Sony a6300 and Rokinon 12mm f2.0 ⒸRob Colatutto[/caption]

Meteor observers all over the world who had clear skies were able to witness meteors from comet SW3, which peaked between 4-5 Universal Time on May 31st. This was close to the predicted time of maximum activity and those situated under the clear skies of southwestern USA and northern Mexico had the best view. Although rates were modest, most observers who viewed from dark locations were pleased with the results. The highest hourly rates reported for these meteors so far has been around 50 (Figure 4). I was able to count 25 per hour, but my skies were less than perfect. These rates compare favorably with medium strength annual showers such as the eta Aquariids and the Orionids. If you missed this display you have a long wait for another opportunity from this source as we do not expect such a favorable encounter again until the year 2033!

Figure 4- 2022 ZHR activity profile for the tau-Herculids (TAH) outburst on May 31. Credit: IMO


One comment

  • Hi Bob,
    it is unbelievable, but I have captured the same meteor as Javor and Joey from Arizona. Just from a DJI sports camera, low resolution, low details. But it is great to see the same meteor from several places.
    Clear sky,

    Reply to Stanislav Kaniansky

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