Meteor Showers to Put on a Show Tonight


By Brian Neudorff

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Southern Idaho is in for a celestrial show tonight as a unique meteor shower will take in the northern sky. The meteor shower is from the debris of comet 209P/LINEAR (which was only discovered in 2004). A meteor shower occurs when the earth passes through the debris of rocks left behind from a passing comet. 

The debris trail of comet 209P/LINEAR was left behind back in the years between 1803 and1924, that is what the earth will pass through tonight. 

The shower will appear to be coming from the faint northern constellation of Camelopardalis (ca-MEL-oh-par-DAHL-is), but really, the radiant will be to the lower left of Polaris or the "North Star".  That is why the meteor shower is named the “Camelopardalid” shower.

Idaho is ideally placed to view the shower, both from a standpoint of the sun being well below the horizon, and the radiant point being well above the horizon, during the peak.

The shower is predicted to arrive between 12:03 and 2:09 AM MDT Saturday morning, with the peak expected between 12:33 and 1:49 AM MDT.

The number of meteors is estimated to be from 100 to 400 per hour (2 to 7 per minute), making it as strong or stronger than the most prolific annual showers, and qualifying as an “outburst”, but some researchers believe it has the potential to produce a meteor “storm” of 1000+ meteors per hour (15+ per minute). Most agree that it will likely be the best shower of 2014.

The best viewing will be to drive north away from the city lights, dress warm and grab a lawn chair and enjoy the show. 


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