MILKY WAY GALAXY (May 23, 2014) — The world of astronomy is buzzing about the new shooting star event that is scheduled to occur Friday night/Saturday morning.
The comet 209P/Linear is expected to pass close to the Earth, and the resulting meteor shower, known as the Camelopardalids, could be fairly impressive.
This is a relatively short-lived window, from roughly Midnight until 4AM Friday night/Saturday morning. There are a few astronomers who believe there could be more than 1,000 shooting stars per hour. It is at this number that a meteor “shower” becomes a meteor “storm.” Luckily, the moon will be dim enough such that it won’t provide any light pollution.
Keep in mind, this has never occurred before, so the exact magnitude is in doubt. Some astronomers place the number at a more conservative 300 to 400 per hour. Many feel it will be even lower than that, closer to the 100 to 200 an hour that characterizes many of the more common meteor showers during the year. They base this idea around the current activity of the comet, which is not all that impressive. Regardless, skies are expected to be clear Friday night here, so we should have some optimal viewing conditions.
For updates on the forecast through the weekend, visit the weather page anytime at http://www.fox17online.com/weather.
Photo courtesy of Ben Strack