Image via NASA

The Camelopardalids meteor shower will be starting Friday, May 23rd. Astronomer’s predict that the best part of the show will occur between 2 a.m.  and 4 a.m. EDT. Unfortunately people living outside of the United States will miss the best part of the show; however, it’s still a good idea to be on the lookout, as individuals in other parts of the world are likely to get a pretty good view. In the U.K. the prime viewing time is between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. UTC. This weekend with be the first time that Earth passes through the cloud of dust that comet 209P/LINEAR leaves behind, making this a never before see new meteor shower. Comet  209P/LINEAR is a rather dim comet that orbits the Sun every 5 years. Some astronomers are predicting that Earth will pass through the remnants of all of the debris trails that were left between 1083 C.E. and 1924 C.E. That’s some 800 years worth of comet remains. However, it is important to note that nothing will be certain until we actually pass through the trail.

How To View It:

When ever you hope to see a meteor shower, clouds are always a factor. The other thing that every star gazer has to fear is the moon. Often, it is so bright that it obscures even the brightest meteors. Fortunately, this Friday, the moon will not be about during the best part of the shower, as it doesn’t rise until 1:41 a.m. Even then, the moon will be a waning crescent, which won’t impact one’s ability to view the meteor shower.

Like most meteor showers, the Camelopardalids gets its name from the constellation that it radiates from, Cameloparda. It should be easy to find because it is very close to two easily recognizable constellations, the Big Dipper and Little Dipper.

Image via EarthSky

Unfortunately, you will likely only be able to see it from the Norther Hemisphere, as we will be passing through the trail when it is night in the North. However, don’t fret too much. If the weather is poor or you are not in a prime area for viewing, Slooh will live broadcast the shower, accompanied by commentary from a handful of meteor experts. The broadcast will begin at 11 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 23.

And if all else fails, according to NASA, “In case of a dud, there is a consolation prize. On May 24th the crescent Moon and Venus are converging for a tight conjunction the next morning, May 25th. Look for them rising together just ahead of the sun in the eastern sky at dawn.”


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