Thursday, May 22, 2014

Video: Sky watchers on the lookout for new meteor shower

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UPDATE - 12:33 a.m. EDT - Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance Sunnyvale Station are active.

UPDATE - 12:24 a.m. EDT - NASA Marshall Space Flight Center video is active.

If predictions hold true, on Friday night Earth may experience a sandblasting of debris from comet 209P/LINEAR, resulting in a new meteor shower.

In 2012, meteor experts Esko Lyytinen of Finland and Peter Jenniskens at NASA Ames Research Center were the first to announce that Earth was due for a May 2014 encounter with debris from comet 209P/LINEAR. 
Other meteor experts quickly confirmed this prediction and some did use the words “meteor storm.” The most recent calculations, however, indicate we might get a strong shower, but perhaps not a storm of meteors.

What will you see? As with all meteor showers, the only way to know is to go outside on the night of the predicted peak and see for yourself.

The meteors will radiate from the constellation Camelopardalis (camelopard), a very obscure northern constellation.

Can't see the meteor shower from your location. Bookmark this page and stay tuned Friday night into Saturday morning for updates on where you can observe from online webcams.

Timeline of Events (all times Eastern Daylight Time)
  • 8:24 p.m. - Friday – Sunset in Washington, D.C. area.
  • 8:30 p.m. - Friday - Jeremie Vaubaillon of IMCCE in Paris, France, predicts debris from the comet will begin to impact the Moon at this point.
  • 1:00 a.m. - Saturday - Peter Jenniskens, a scientist with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, will depart from Palo Alto, Calif. aboard an aircraft and head towards Seattle, Wash., in an attempt to observe the meteor shower above any cloud cover. The flight will return to Palo Alto approximately four hours later.
  • 3:17 a.m. - Saturday – Moonrise in Washington, D.C. area.
  • 3:39 a.m. - Saturday – The International Space Station will be visible in Washington, D.C., area 19 degrees above the horizon.
  • 5:51 a.m. - Saturday - Sunrise in Washington, D.C. area.
Online resources:
  • DCNewsroom Twitter
  • NASA Marshall Space Flight Center video.
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