Interesting Stuff

View The Camelopardalid Meteor Shower This Weekend

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UPDATE:  Well darn, nothing happened, that’s science for you!

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and many people will be hitting the road and going to popular vacation spots like the beach.  But, if you are going on a vacation, or staying at home, you can look up to the sky and view a meteor shower this weekend!  On early Saturday morning, the Camelopardalid Meteor Shower will take place starting right after midnight.  The peak viewing time for this meteor shower will be from 2-4 am Central time, but the show could begin right after sunset on Friday.  The amount of meteors you see each hour could be as low as 100 or as high as 1000!

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The Camelopardalids will be debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR, a very dim comet that orbits the sun every five years.  The comet was discovered in 2004 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research project.  The Earth will pass through debris left by Comet 209P/LINEAR from 1803 through 1924.  The best way to spot this meteor shower is to look towards the north, or at the Big Dipper.  You also want to get away from city lights and look up to the dark sky.  The weather will be perfect for the meteor shower, as the skies should be clear and temps will be in the 60’s.  The moon will not rise until around 2 am, but the moon is in the waning crescent phase, and will not be too bright!

If you can not make it out and watch the meteor shower, NASA is hosting a live chat and video session where NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke will answer questions and talk about what is going on.  The video will show the meteor shower live from Huntsville, Alabama.  The event will take place from 10 pm Central on Friday to 2 am on Saturday.  To view the event, go to: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/watchtheskies/may-camelopardalids.html#.U35MuvldXoM

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