Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR, between 30 and 200 meteors per hour,on May 24th
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May 21, 2014
Space WeatherMETEOR SHOWER ALERT:
by [firstname.lastname@example.org]Dr. Tony Phillips[/email].
Next weekend, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR. The encounter could spark a new meteor shower. Forecasters aren’t sure how many meteors will appear; anything is possible from a complete dud to a magnificent meteor storm. Best estimates fall between 30 and 200 meteors per hour on May 24th between 0600 UT and 0800 UT on May 24th. Get the full story from Science@NASA
ScienceCasts: NASA on the Lookout for a New Meteor Shower
ScienceAtNASAPublished on May 5, 2014
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Sky watchers in North America could witness a new meteor shower on May 24th when, for the first time, Earth passes through a cloud of dust from periodic comet 209P/LINEAR.
NEW METEOR SHOWER ON EARTH AND THE MOON:
Anticipation is building as Earth approaches a cloud of debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR. This weekend, meteoroids hitting Earth’s atmosphere could produce a never-before-seen shower called the “May Camelopardalids” peaking with as many as 200 meteors per hour. The best time to look is on Saturday, May 24th, between 0600 UT and 0800 UT (2 a.m. and 4 a.m. EDT).
Earth won’t be the only body passing through the debris zone. The Moon will be, too. Meteoroids hitting the lunar surface could produce explosions visible through backyard telescopes on Earth. The inset in this picture of an actual lunar meteor shows the region of the crescent Moon on May 24th that could be pelted by May Camelopardalids:
According to NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, the best time for amateur astronomers to scan the Moon for lunar meteors is after 0800 UT (4 a.m. EDT) on May 24th.
There is much uncertainty about the strength of this shower, both on Earth and on the Moon. In recent history, our planet has never passed directly through a debris stream from Comet 209P/LINEAR, so no one knows exactly how much comet dust lies ahead. A magnificent meteor shower could erupt, with streaks of light in terrestrial skies and sparkling explosions on the Moon–or it could be a complete dud. Stay tuned!
Meteors streak from the Perseids meteor shower above the Wyoming countryside north of Cheyenne in this time-elapsed photo taken Aug. 13, 2013.(Photo: Blaline McCartney, AP)
A first-of-its-kind meteor shower is expected to occur Friday night and into early Saturday morning.
The Camelopardalid meteor shower is a first because Earth has never run into the debris from this particular comet.
The Comet 209P/LINEAR is a very dim comet that orbits the sun every five years and was discovered in 2004.MORE:
New meteor shower could turn into meteor storm
Unlike other meteor showers expected to be visible around the same time of year, the Camelopardalid is unique because its debris is strongly influenced by Jupiter’s gravity, which constantly alters the orbit of this comet’s debris, said William Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
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