Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

New Camelopardalid Meteor Shower


The Camelopardalids meteor shower should be visible to Northwest Indiana very early Saturday morning. The meteor shower will be visible to all of North America and our skies are forecast to be clear overnight.

The Camelopardalids meteor shower is the result of Earth passing through the debris given off by a comet name 209P/LINEAR. This debris is about the size of grains of sand which will glow and burn-up as they pass through Earth's atmosphere. This is the first time that Earth has passed through the dust field of this comet and it may be the only time.

The best time to observe the shower will be from 1 to 3 a.m. (local time), although there may be some meteors visible all night long. The meteors should be visible in all directions, although there maybe an advantage to looking north and overhead.

If you go outside tonight, give your eyes a few minutes to adjust to the darkness. Sit in a comfortable chair and look overhead. Watch for bright, but short-livid streaks of light -- what people often call "shooting" or "falling stars". You don't need binoculars or any other special equipment.

There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the number of meteors that may be visible. There is a potential than there will be a high number of meteors visible. It's also possible that the shower will be a bust with few meteors visible.

More information on the Camelopardalids meteor shower is available from NASA's website:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-sky-watchers-to-look-for-may-ca...