« What's Happening

Look to the night sky this weekend!

by Jessie Hawkins

We here in north land might get treated to a spectacular night sky this Friday night and Saturday morning! Read on for more detailed information from Earthsky.org.

An exciting new meteor shower the Camelopardalids might peak this Friday night and Saturday morning (May 23-24, 2014), according to clocks in North America. And, although no one can be absolutely sure, mid-latitudes in North America are predicted to have the best view of this shower. Its coming up soon! This possible shower stems from Comet 209P/LINEAR, discovered in 2004. If the predictions hold true, Earth might be sandblasted with debris from this comet, resulting in a fine display of meteors, or shooting stars on the evening of May 23, and the morning of May 24. Follow the links below to learn more about the possible 2014 meteor shower of Comet 209P/LINEAR.

Models suggest that the best viewing hours are between 6 and 8 UTC on May 24. That is between 2 and 4 a.m. EDT (1-3 a.m. CDT and so on translate to your time zone here ).

Because of the time predicted for the meteor display, observers in southern Canada and the continental U.S. are especially well positioned to see the meteors in the early morning hours of May 24 (or late at night on May 23). Will the predictions hold true? They are not always 100% reliable, which is why, no matter where you are on Earth, this shower is worth a try around the night of May 23-24.

The meteors will radiate from the constellation Camelopardalis (camelopard), a very obscure northern constellation. Its name is derived from early Rome, where it was thought of as a composite creature, described as having characteristics of both a camel and a leopard. Nowadays we call such a creature a giraffe! Since meteor in annual showers take their names from the constellation from which they appear to radiate and since this meteor shower might become an annual event people are already calling it the May Camelopardalids.

This constellation radiant point of the May 2014 meteor shower is in the northern sky, close to the north celestial pole, making this meteor shower better for the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere.

Courtesy of: