According to NASA a large meteor shower known as ‘The Camelopardlids Meteor Shower’ will put on quite a show in the night sky peaking early Saturday between two and four in the morning. The shower will occur as a result of Earth passing through the dust trail ejected from a comet known as 209P/LINEAR. While just discovered, this comet trail was created nearly 200 years ago! As the particles, or meteoroids, enter the Earth’s atmosphere at very high speeds they will encounter tremendous friction with air particles causing them to heat to more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The intense heat vaporizes most meteors creating what we call shooting stars. In the case of 209P/LINEAR the moon will also be an area of interest. Some of the meteoroids from this comet may slam into the surface of the moon create brief flashes of light on its surface.
If there ends up being clouds, fear not. You may still be able to listen to the shower from your radio. If clouds block your view, tune into a “dead” FM station on the radio. As the meteor shower begins you will hear a small pop followed by a brief transmission from a random far-away station. While this will only last for a few seconds, with so many meteors falling to earth you’re sure to hear something.
Having never run into the debris from this comet before, this spectacle will be a first for earth. Furthermore, being the first of its kind scientists are not quite sure how active the shower will be or what it will even look like. Some scientists believe that the spectacle could create up to 200 meteors per hour. The best viewing conditions exists in rural areas away from city lights looking toward the northern sky.
So turn out the lights and look to the night sky, you may just be able to witness this spectacular event…and maybe make a wish or two.
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