12 Dec 2023

Eyes on the skies for rare meteor shower

From Nights, 10:18 pm on 12 December 2023

Despite the severe weather, tonight, behind the clouds, a rare meteor shower is taking place over Aotearoa. The comet 46-P Wirtanen orbits Earth every five and a half years, and for the first time ever, it's looking like a trail of dust from the comet's tail will be visible on the ground in the form of a meteor shower. Earlier predictions had the North Island's East Coast singled out as the most likely spot to get a clear view of the show. Today's thunderstorm might have other plans, but the region is home to a clutch of dedicated stargazers. Mark Leishman dials in to Gary Sparks of the Hawke's Bay Astronomical Society and Holt Planetarium.