Rare daytime meteor shower visible in southern Ontario this month

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Published June 8, 2024 at 1:53 pm

Rare daytime meteor shower visible in southern Ontario this month

This month, a spectacular and rare meteor shower that is active during the day will be visible in southern Ontario.

According to Earthsky.org, the Arietids are unlike typical meteor showers observed at night. These meteors occur during the daytime, making them more challenging to observe. However, some can be seen in the dark hour before dawn.

Arietid meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere at 39 km/s (87,000 mph). Their origins are uncertain, but spaceweather.com notes on its website that they may come from the sungrazing asteroid 1566 Icarus, Comet 96P/Machholz, or the Kreutz family of sungrazing comets.

If you missed the peak on the morning of June 4, you can still catch the Arietids until June 17, with moon-free skies ensuring optimal viewing conditions.

To catch a glimpse of the Arietids, observers can look eastward about 45 minutes before sunrise. The shower’s radiant point is in the constellation Aries, which rises just before astronomical twilight begins, when the sun is 12 to 18 degrees below the horizon.

“The Arietids boast a strong zenithal hourly rate. Radar and radio echoes have recorded up to 60 meteors per hour, with some estimates as high as 200 meteors per hour,” reports Earthsky.com.

These bright meteors streak slowly and horizontally across the sky, making them worth waking up for.

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