Meteors Expected This Year!
Yes, there are meteors expected in the very near future. The meteor showers we see are mostly spawned by comets and are named for the constellation of stars through which they appear to rain down from.
We have 8 meteor showers expected to hit us this year, they are:
- Lyrids Meteor Shower (16th-25th April)
- Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower (19th April-28th May)
- Perseids Meteor Shower (17th July-24th August)
- Draconids Meteor Shower (6th-10th October)
- Orionids Meteor Shower (2nd October-7th November)
- Leonids Meteor Shower (6th-30th November)
- Geminids Meteor Shower (4th-17th December)
- Ursids Meteor Shower (17th-26th December)
Almost all meteors are very small and we see them burn up as they come through our atmosphere. On May 13th this year a meteor was reported over Spain as a bright fireball. It was produced by a rock from an asteroid and hit our atmosphere at 56,000 km/h. See it here. It did not reach the Earths surface as is the case with almost all meteors
These events happen all year round. Not all are observable in either hemisphere. City light can make them invisible.
There is, however, a slight chance of Earth being hit by an asteroid. Asteroids are much, much larger than meteors. As an example, Asteroid Apophis has a 1 in 100,000 chance of hitting Earth. This asteroid is estimated at near 400 metres wide and is classed as a hazardous NEO (near-earth object). asteroid Apophis is expected to fly past us on April 13th 2029. It was initially thought there was a 1 in 36 chance of it hitting the Earth but this has thankfully been ruled out. The Apophis is expected to pass at a distance of 29,740 km fist time around. When it next visits, it should be at a distance of around 49 million km.
Further reading on the subject is here.