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Look Out Above! New Meteor Shower May Turn Into Storm Of Fireballs In Sky

May Camelopardalid meteor shower is due to peak.

May Camelopardalid meteor shower peak.
May Camelopardalid meteor shower peak.
If May's Eta Aquarid meteor shower disappointed — and for many people, it did — 2014 comes with a new show, the May Camelopardalid meteor shower peak, which could turn out to be an outright meteor storm right over Virginia, Washington, and the rest of North America.

The May Camelopardalids will be created with the help of remnants from periodic comet nerdly named "209P/LINEAR."

While that comet was discovered only in 2004, nobody has ever seen the Camelopardalids, the fireballs that should be visible as Earth passes through the trail of dust left behind by ol' 209P in the 1800s.

In a videocast, The head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, Dr. Bill Cooke, said he often lets cameras do his sky watching for him. 

But not this time.

"There could be a new meteor shower, and I want to see it with my own eyes," says Cooke. 

Some forecasters have predicted more than 200 meteors per hour, but the fact is that's a guess based on less data than experts would like.

"We have no idea what the comet was doing in the 1800s," says Cooke.  As a result of the uncertainty, "there could be a great meteor shower—or a complete dud." 

Most experts say, though, that at least a decent show can be expected, with a pretty good chance that the Camelopardalids will rival what is usually the best meteor show of the year, the Perseids, which in 2014 peak Aug. 10-Aug. 13.

When to Watch: The peak night of the shower is predicted for May 23-24, 2014. Models suggest that the best viewing hours are between 2 and 4 a.m. EDT.


Sayona May 19, 2014 at 01:43 AM
Get a blanket, find a dark field, trip out, and enjoy the light show.
Kathleen Hickok-Mee May 24, 2014 at 02:52 AM
Looking now at 2:52 am. Nothing

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