In May 2014, there is a big possibility of a NEW meteor shower appearing!
This possible new shower would be a collection of all the trails of the Comet 209P/LINEAR’s orbit around Earth from 1803 to 1924, although the comet wasn’t discovered until 2004. We are finally about to intersect these trails in 2014!
Earth stands to be blasted by debris which could result in lots of meteors, which we see as shooting stars. North American could probably get the best view, but as its a completely new meteor shower, no one knows exactly where and how many meteors will be seen.
The peak of the shower is predicted to be late at night on May 23rd through to the early hours of the morning on May 24th 2014.
This meteor shower will be in the northern sky, close to the north celestial pole or Polaris, making visibility better for the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere. To find Polaris, face north and locate the Big Dipper (Plough) and Little Dipper. Looking at the “cup” part of the Big Dipper, imagine that the two stars at the outside edge of the cup form a line pointing upward out of the cup. This line points directly at the star at the tip of the Little Dipper’s handle. That star is Polaris, the North Star.
The meteors will radiate from the constellation Camelopardalis (camelopard), a very obscure northern constellation. Its name is derived from early Rome, where they described a creature that was a blend of having the characteristics of both a camel and a leopard. Nowadays we call such a creature a giraffe! Since annual meteor showers take their names from the constellation from which they appear to radiate, people are already calling this shower the May Camelopardalids (try saying that after a few!).
If you have any Moldavite or tektites, pop them outside over the few days of the meteor shower. Not much charges up tektites or meteorites such as Moldavite, but meteor showers seem to have a strange effect on them and make them really buzzy. Maybe they have an affinity with star dust 😉
I shall be on holiday at my mum’s in Spain on 23rd/24th, so hope to be sat out on the verandah of her mountaintop villa with a gorgeous view of the night sky and LOTS of shooting stars 🙂