May 23, 2014 - 9:26 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - A new meteor shower is set to light up the sky around midnight on Friday and predictions are it could be quite the show.
NASA says the shower could rival the well-known Perseids meteor shower that happens in August, even though no one has ever seen the Camelopardalids before. The Camelopardalids are caused by dust from the ‘relatively dim’ comet 209PLINEAR that circles the earth every five years. The comet was only discovered in 2004 though the debris path Earth will pass through was left by the comet in the 1800s.
When the earth passes through a debris trail, the tiny rocks, most as small as a grain of sand, burn up as they hit the earth's atmosphere creating what looks shooting stars. Larger particles may produce fireballs.
According the space agency no one is sure just how much debris, is waiting but many forecasters believe it will be a ‘significant meteor outburst’ of up to 200 meteors per hour, though there is a chance it could also be a non-event.
Predictions show the peak of the meteor shower is expected around midnight to just after midnight tonight, Friday, May 23, in B.C. It is recommended you look towards the darkest part of the (north) sky and follow the appearance of falling stars and streaks of light to the radiant, which will be from a point in Camelopardalis (the ‘giraffe’) constellation under the Little Dipper near the North Star.
This time around Mother Nature may even cooperate. Environment Canada is currently calling for little to no clouds overnight for the Southern Interior with a mix of sun and cloud heading into Saturday.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014