Next weekend, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR. The encounter could spark a new meteor shower. Forecasters aren’t sure how many meteors will appear; anything is possible from a complete dud to a magnificent meteor storm. Best estimates fall between 30 and 200 meteors per hour on May 24th between 0600 UT and 0800 UT on May 24th. Get the full story from Science@NASA
ScienceCasts: NASA on the Lookout for a New Meteor Shower
A first-of-its-kind meteor shower is expected to occur Friday night and into early Saturday morning.
The Camelopardalid meteor shower is a first because Earth has never run into the debris from this particular comet.
The Comet 209P/LINEAR is a very dim comet that orbits the sun every five years and was discovered in 2004.
Unlike other meteor showers expected to be visible around the same time of year, the Camelopardalid is unique because its debris is strongly influenced by Jupiter’s gravity, which constantly alters the orbit of this comet’s debris, said William Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.