Unusual Andromedids Meteor Shower Outburst Due in 2023 and 2036

There appears to be a good chance of the Andromedids meteor shower having a strong outburst in 2023. The comet that started the Andromedids meteor shower was 3D/Biela.

This comet was first discovered in 1772 and is the first comet that allowed us to identify the link between comets and meteors.

In 1845 3D/Belia was observed to break up. From that point on, it could not be observed again. There were then spectacular meteor outbursts in 1872 and 1875.

Historically the Andromedid meteor shower started in 1741, but after the comet break up 10,000 meteors an hour was recorded on the 27th of November 1872, and in England on the same night 58,600 meteors per hour was recorded. In fact, the Andromedids were famous for providing meteor storms.

The more intense meteor showers originally emanated from the Cassiopeia constellation. Then over time the new comet streams have become less dense and moved to the Andromeda constellation, hence the name.

Now the comet has broken up, the Andromedids usually only give three meteors per hour. However, in 2023 there are predicted to be more than 200 meteors per hour. Although questions remain regarding how large the meteor shower will be as the comet fragment may no longer exist.

This may be the last opportunity to see the Andromedids provide meteors in such numbers, which could be even higher numbers than the annual Perseids and Geminids meteor showers.

There was an Andromedids outburst in 2011 with 50 meteors per hour. Interestingly the peak was on the 5th of December (around 9 pm to 12 pm universal time), not around the 9th of November when the meteor shower usually occurs.

Due to this, it appears to be associated with Andromedids from an earlier era in that the meteors emanate mainly from Cassiopeia and not Andromeda.

In fact, from simulations, it looks like the 2011 outburst was actually due to the 1649 perihelion passage of the parent comet. A perihelion occurs when an astronomical object is closest to the Sun.

There is also expected to be an outburst in 2036, but it is not predicted to be as intense as the 2023 meteor shower.

The newest comet streams, which should have a smaller number of meteors, occur from the 9th to the 14th of November. But the new intense peak should occur between the 4th and the 6th of December, both in 2023 and 2036. Occurring from about 9pm to 12 pm Universal Time.

This means that, unlike many meteor showers, the Andromedids are best viewed before midnight.

Note that the moon should not be an issue in the 2023 dates as it is 22% illuminated on the 9th of November and 50% illuminated on the 5th of December.

Furthermore, the moon will rise before midnight but will not get in the way of the display as it is an early evening shower.

This is especially important as the meteors will be small and slow. This means the meteors won’t be very bright, meaning it is more important than ever to view the meteor shower from a location with low light pollution. So no city viewing!

Unfortunately, in 2036 the moon will be almost 97% illuminated on the 5th of December and over 70% on the 9th of November. So 2023 would be the best year to see an Andromedids outburst.

As you know the one thing that may stop us viewing this meteor shower is the weather. So to combat this I want us to work together as a team sending in your video footage and photos from around the world so that I can then collate it into a combined video for us all to see.

Of course all the material will be fully attributed and you can add any comments you wish. All you need to capture this is a camera capable of long exposure photos of around eight seconds or more or a meteor camera.

We did this for the Tau Herculids meteor shower and it was very successful.

UPDATE: Important update regarding the original November meteor shower and what you need to do to prepare for a potential meteor shower outburst.

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