LIVE: Watch May Camelopardalids Meteor Shower

By  //  May 24, 2014

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shower active May 24, 10:30 p.m. to May 24, 7 a.m.

ABOVE VIDEO: Tune in to through May 24 at 7 a.m. to watch the live stream of tonight’s meteor shower.

Scientists anticipate a new meteor shower tonight: the May Camelopardalids, resulting from the dust of periodic comet 209P/LINEAR.

No one has seen it before, but the shower could put on a prolific show. The shower is predicted to be active on May 23, 10:30 p.m. to May 24, 7 a.m. EDT.

The peak is projected between 2-4 a.m EDT. This will be a one-night-only event.

Projected viewing of May Camelopardalids meteor shower at 06:00 UTC. ( Image)
Projected viewing of May Camelopardalids meteor shower at 06:00 UTC. ( Image)

Comet 209P/LINEAR was discovered in February 2004 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research project, a cooperative effort of NASA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, and the US Air Force. It is a relatively dim comet that dips inside the orbit of Earth once every five years as it loops around the sun.

Bill Cooke
Bill Cooke

“We expect these meteors to radiate from a point in Camelopardalis, also known as ‘the giraffe,’ a faint constellation near the North Star,” Cooke said. 

“It’s a great opportunity to see a new meteor shower — an opportunity I want to see with my own eyes.”

In 2006 meteor experts Esko Lyytinen of Finland and Peter Jenniskens at NASA Ames Research Center announced that Earth was due for an encounter with debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR. Streams of dust ejected by the comet mainly back in the 1800s would cross Earth’s orbit on May 24, 2014. The result, they said, could be a significant meteor outburst.