NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 12 May 2023: Comet Halley's dust reveals BREATHTAKING view

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 12th May shows a magnificent view of Halley’s Dust in the night sky.

| Updated on: May 12 2023, 14:22 IST
NASA issues alert as 5 asteroids, one as big as 262 feet, speeding towards Earth!
1/5 Asteroid 2023 HT4 – Asteroid 2023 HT4, with a width of almost 250 feet, will be making its closest Earth approach today, May 12. It will come as close as 6 million kilometers, according to NASA. The asteroid is moving at a breakneck speed of 32167 kilometers per hour.  (REUTERS)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 JG – Another asteroid, named Asteroid 2023 JG is heading for Earth and will make a close approach on May 13. This asteroid, with a size of approximately 160 feet, is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 54995 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a distance of 7.1 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
image caption
3/5 Asteroid 2023 JP – Asteroid 2023 JP, which is almost 86 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will make a close approach on May 14. This asteroid is heading towards Earth at a blistering speed of 27958 kilometers per hour and will miss Earth at a distance of 3.2 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2023 JK – Asteroid 2023 JK will make its closest approach to Earth on May 21. According to NASA, this asteroid is almost 219 feet wide. The asteroid will come as close as 1.6 million kilometers near Earth and is already moving at a speed of 33472 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
5/5 Asteroid 2021 JK7 – Asteroid 2021 JK7, which is almost 262 feet wide, will make its closest approach to Earth on May 22. The asteroid is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 82341 kilometers per hour and will pass the planet at a distance of 6.3 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day
View all Images
Whenever Halley returns to the inner solar system, its nucleus emits a magnificent display of dust in the sky. (Petr Horalek / Institute of Physics in Opava)

During the early days of May, the night skies were adorned with mesmerizing trails of cosmic dust. Grain travelled through space while leaving streaks across the skies of Earth, NASA shared. What was this mesmerizing effect? Basically, the remnants of periodic Comet Halley's debris streams left a surreal view for all the stargazers. It is referred to as the Eta Aquarids when the annual meteor shower shows its celestial spectacle. Sadly, the peak of this year's Eta Aquarids was somewhat hindered by May's Full Moon.

Nevertheless, the pre-dawn hours surrounding last year's display of Halley's dust showered us with a clear view, free from the interference of moonlight. This is when Petr Horalek of the Institute of Physics in Opava managed to capture a breathtaking view of almost 90 Eta Aquarid meteors streaking across the sky from the radiant point in Aquarius. NASA shared it as the Astronomy Picture of the Day which captures the view during the period of April 28 to May 8 in 2022.

NASA's explanation for the image

The scene in the image unfolds above San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, where the majestic Milky Way gracefully arches through the predawn skies of the southern hemisphere. Illuminating the horizon is a subtle band of light known as Zodiacal light, which arises from the scattering of sunlight by dust particles near the ecliptic plane of our Solar System.

Within this ethereal glow, you can spot the prominent planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, as they travel along the ecliptic. Interestingly, recent findings indicate that Mars itself is likely to be a significant contributor to the dust responsible for the creation of Zodiacal light.

About Halley Comet: How do Eta Aquarids occur

Regarded as the most renowned comet, Halley revealing to astronomers the concept of comets as recurring celestial visitors in our night skies. NASA says that whenever Halley returns to the inner solar system, its nucleus emits a magnificent display, releasing a mixture of ice and rock dust into the vastness of space. As a result of this, two relatively subdued meteor showers occur annually: the Eta Aquarids in May and the Orionids in October.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 12 May, 14:21 IST
keep up with tech