Rare Andromedids Meteor Shower: How to Catch a Glimpse



  • There’s a chance to see a very rare meteor shower tonight.
  • The Andromedids originated in what is now a dead comet.

People in the U.S. might have a chance to see a very rare meteor shower Saturday night.

It’s called the Andromedids, and it originated with a comet named 3D/Biela. The comet was first observed blazing a trail through space in the 1700s. It broke apart around 1842, according to the American Astronomical Society. The “D” in its name indicates a dead comet that’s mostly disappeared.

It produced stunning meteor showers in 1872 and 1885 that have been well documented and studied.

But since then, sightings of the Andromedids are infrequent. Some astronomers predict it could be visible Saturday night, with up to 200 meteors per hour.

If that happens, the best viewing would be in Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia due to timing.

But people in North America could have a chance to spot some of the Andromedids shortly after sunset if the show runs behind its expected schedule, the American Meteor Society says.

T​he window for possible viewing is very short because a waning gibbous moon will rise and pour light into the sky, making any potential meteors hard to see.

W​eather – especially clouds – could also play a role in visibility.


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Weather.com reporter Jan Childs covers breaking news and features related to weather, space, climate change, the environment and everything in between.

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