Thursday, 15 May 2014

Meteor Storm of the Century -- Comet 209P/Linear Dust Trails to Light up...

A new meteor shower spawned by a comet is due to light up the sky next week, with some forecasters predicting up to 200 "shooting stars" per hour — a potentially spectacular opening act for the meteor display.

Comet 209P/LINEARPin It Comet 209P/LINEAR appears as a dim, dusty object at the center of this photo taken by NASA astronauts at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. in May 2014. Dust from the comet is expected to create a meteor shower that will be first seen on Earth in May 2014.
Credit: NASA Marshall Space Flight CenterView full size image
If it performs as expected, the never-before-seen Camelopardalid meteor shower is due to peak overnight on May 23 and 24 as the Earth passes through a debris stream left by the Comet 209P/LINEAR nearly 200 years ago. The new meteor display could rival the brilliance of the annual Perseid meteor shower that graces the night sky each August.

The prospect of a brand-new meteor shower has scientists understandably excited.

"There could be a new meteor shower, and I want to see it with my own eyes,"  said NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid EnvironmentOffice at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., in a statement. [New Meteor Shower from Comet 209P/LINEAR  

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