Friday, May 23, 2014

New meteor shower visible this weekend

May 23, 2014

A never-before-seen meteor shower will put on a cosmic show this weekend. Astronomers aren't sure just how big it will be, but NASA says it could rival the impressive Perseid meteor shower that lights up the skies every August.

It will happen early Saturday, as the Earth passes by debris from Comet 209P/Linear. The dusty debris is what creates the meteor shower. Scientists believe the shower could produce three, four or more - possibly a few hundred more - shooting stars per minute.

North American sky-gazers will have the best views, as long as the weather cooperates and skies are clear. The shower should peak from around 2 a.m. local time until nearly dawn.

The experts at NASA say you don't need to look in any particular direction, just straight up. Meteors can appear all over the sky.

Comet 209P/Linear was discovered in 2004. It will be about 7.6 million miles from Earth on Saturday.

The shower's name is a mouthful: Camelopardalids (pronounced CA-mull-oh-PAR-duh-lids). It's named after the giraffe constellation.

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