From the ABC 7 Weather team

New Meteor Shower Could Put on a Great Show Friday night, Saturday morning

May 21, 2014 - 05:00 AM
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Be the first to witness a new meteor shower.

 

Whether or not it will be a delight or a dud is still at question, but a new meteor shower expected this weekend has space enthusiasts excited. It's being dubbed, "May Camelopardalids," after the constellation closest to it's radiant point (also known as the giraffe). While it is difficult to pronounce, it may be very easy to see in the Northern Hemisphere.

(Best Viewing - NASA)

 

Look in the  sky on Friday night or Saturday morning near the Big Dipper. Peak display is forecasted between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

 

(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

 

The waning crescent moon will only be 20 percent illuminated and these meteors only move at 40,000 miles per hour creating bright and slow displays. The comet called 209P/LINEAR orbits the sun once every five years but its a debris stream from that comet left behind from the 1800s that will track through the earth's atmosphere to create the display. It was first discovered in 2004.

Much like in meteorology, Astronomists differ in their forecast of the display. While they all agree on the date and timing of the possible first display of this shower, they vary on how spectacular it will be. Some are calling for a few hundred "shooting stars" per hour and others predict it will be a downright meteor storm (1000+ per hour). NASA will be hosting a live chat and Ustream of the display. Here's a direct link to it.  It's up to you to decide if it's worth losing sleep over.  Perhaps it helps that it's a holiday weekend and many don't have to get up early as mother nature makes her own fireworks show in the sky.

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