The Living Force
METEOR OUTBURST POSSIBLE NEXT WEEK: In late 1995, Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 exploded. Next week, some of the debris might hit Earth.
Multiple forecasters agree that a meteor shower could erupt on May 31, 2022, when Earth runs into one or more debris streams from Comet 73P. The display could be as intense as a meteor storm (1000 or more meteors per hour) or as weak as nothing at all. No one knows how much debris is inside the approaching streams, so meteor rates are hard to estimate.
Whatever happens, people in North America are in a good position to see it. Almost the entire continent will be in Moon-free darkness when the shower peaks. Maximum activity is expected around 1:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (05:00 UT) on Tuesday morning, May 31st. The shower's radiant (the point from which all meteors stream) will be almost straight above Baja California.
This isn't the first time Earth has sampled debris from Comet 73P. In 1930, at least a handful of meteors were observed shortly after the comet's discovery by German astronomers. The meteors emerged from a radiant near 4th magnitude star tau Herculis, so the shower has since been called "the tau Herculid meteor shower." NASA cameras also detected minor tau Herculid activity in 2011 and 2017.