A New Shower!

Camelopardalids_2014-Radiant_HD1….Let’s hope it is not equipped with a low-flow shower head though. If you get a chance this evening, find a wide area of sky away from as many lights as you can (it does not have to be perfectly dark, but the darker the better). There is a new meteor shower, the Camelopardalids…. It is new because the comet debris responsible (we’re flying through debris left over from its tail) has not intersected with our orbit before, but things have been changing a bit (apparently due to Jupiter’s gravitational pull) and as a result we’ll go right through it for the first time (as far as records show). It is expected that there’s a good chance that it will be a high event shower, and it has also been said – I forgot where I read this – that the particles in this shower are larger than typical which means for slower moving meteors – perhaps easier to see.

So we shall see… Due to our motion relative to the debris, the giraffe (Camelopardalis) constellation is the apparent source (that’s why they get the name Camelopardalids), but you don’t have to be looking North…. just know that that will determine the pattern of paths that you see, which (if things are good) will be in a lot of the sky. The embedded graphic is from Sky and Telescope.

The peak will be somewhat after midnight Pacific time and into the early morning hours of Saturday, but you should start seeing things as early as 11:00pm tonight (Friday). More here.

People in large cities like LA – don’t assume that you can’t see anything. The trick is patience, and even if you don’t have perfectly dark conditions, if you’v got a steady amount of lighting (so that your eyes can adjust and stay adjusted) you can see a lot from a back garden or parking lot behind a building, etc… with a little luck. If you’ve a park nearby that gets you away from street lights in your field of view, even better.

Enjoy!

-cvj

On this day on Asymptotia...

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