Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/23/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Meteor shower could put on a spectacular show.

This Friday night, until the predawn hours of Saturday morning, Earth will pass through a river of dust in space which could create the most amazing meteor shower seen in decades-or ever. Or, we might not see anything.

You can look anywhere in the sky, as long as it's dark. Southern hemisphere viewers will see far fewer meteorites because the shower is literally raining down on the northern hemisphere.

You can look anywhere in the sky, as long as it's dark. Southern hemisphere viewers will see far fewer meteorites because the shower is literally raining down on the northern hemisphere.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/23/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Camelopardalis, meteor shower, 209/P LINEAR


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For the first time in recorded history, Earth will pass through a million-kilometer-wide river of dust in space shed over the past 200 years by comet 209/P LINEAR. The comet is a new discovery, just five years old, but the faint, dirty snowball has been rounding the Sun every five years, possibly for millions of years.

The comet is small and faint, so it was discovered just five years ago and will not appear to the naked eye. However, during all the time it has been orbiting the Sun, it has also been shedding dust and debris, as all comets do, forming a ring of dust that orbits the Sun along its path.

St. Dominic de Guzman, patron saint of astronomers.

For the first time, likely ever, the Earth will pass through this river of dust in space. This may also be the last time it happens. That makes Friday night very special to skywatchers.

Friday night could offer the most spectacular meteor shower of their lives with as many as 1,000 meteors per hour between 1 A.M. and 3 A.M. Eastern time.

Or the rate of meteors could just be 100 per hour. Or it could be zero, although astronomers think that's highly unlikely. It's unlikely enough they are planning to stay up late to watch, particularly in North America which is ideally situated for the shower.

The radiant, or place where the shower will appear to emanate, is high in the northern sky.

The radiant, or place where the shower will appear to emanate, is high in the northern sky.


The moon, which often interferes with meteor showers will also be a waning crescent, meaning its light won't wash out all of the meteors.

Meteor showers are created when bits of dust left over from comets hit the upper atmosphere and burn up because of the sudden and intense pressure of the atmosphere (not friction as commonly thought).

Friday's display could be especially intense because the river of debris is tightly packed with two centuries worth of comet dust. However, we don't know just how much dust comet 209/P LINEAR has been shedding. If the comet sheds only a little, the shower could be a dud, even with 200 years of accumulation on tap.

Still, astronomers believe those who lie awake waiting for the clock to strike midnight won't wait in vain. Something is very likely to occur and if you have clear skies and patience you should see something.

There's the great chance that you could also see something amazing as well, which could be a meteor storm -a sudden burst of activity unrivalled in decades or generations. There's just no way to predict what will happen leaving us all to wait and see for ourselves.

The meteor shower will appear to emanate from the constellation Camelopardalis, the Giraffe, which is a neighbor to Ursa Major, commonly known as the Big Dipper. Camelopardalis is a little more northerly in the sky than the Big Dipper, and lies between Ursa Major and Cassiopeia.

Don't worry about where to look however. Meteors will rain down from every corner of the sky, more or less, so you don't have to look in a particular direction. Generally looking north may help slightly, but shouldn't make much difference. The most important factor is to be as far away from lights as possible.

If you can't leave the city and must view the shower from your back yard, you should turn off all your lights and encourage your neighbors to do the same. No special equipment is needed, in fact a telescope or binoculars will impair your ability to see the shower by limiting your field of view. The best way to view any meteor shower is to lie on your back and just look up under a clear, dark sky.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Technology

The cities are filling up! Where will the next two billion people live? Watch

Image of Tokyo is so crowded that special workers cram people into the subway trains there.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

How big can a city get? What happens when a city cannot house any more people? Experts warn that the world's cities are filling up, and soon mass migration will disrupt entire countries as people search for less crowded places to live. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Scientists discover a mystery on Ceres - is it an asteroid, or an imposter? Watch

Image of Ceres is likely to be a dwarf planet and not an asteroid at all, according to astronomers. The asteroid was upgraded to dwarf planet status in 2006. The abundance of water suggests it formed in the outer Solar System.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While the world was aflame with anger over the demotion of Pluto in 2006 from planet to dwarf planet, another object was quietly being promoted. The asteroid Ceres, by far the largest asteroid in the Solar System, became a dwarf planet, the same as Pluto. Now, a new ... continue reading


UCLA teams up with TransMedics to revolutionize the future of heart transplants Watch

Image of The heart transplant community will never be the same (WordPress).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Over 5,000 heart transplants are performed every year, but as more and more people find themselves in need of a transplant, over 3,000 people wait on the transplant list at any given time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More and more people are in need of a heart ... continue reading


Scientists accidentally discovered MORE proof for God's existence when they ran this experiment Watch

Image of Scientists may have found more proof for God in Godel's theorem.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two scientists say that have discovered proof for the existence of God. The evidence comes in the form of a logical proof, that they say works when fed into a powerful computer. Incidentally, the pair had no intention of proving God, and instead they were attempting to ... continue reading


Would you ride this rocket? Space X nails rocket launch -- and landing on a barge in the ocean Watch

Image of Space X launches a rocket from Vandenburg AFB in California.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Space X faced a crucial flight of their Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday and they managed to turn in a successful launch. The rocket was launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base on the California Central coast, then it landed on a barge floating in the Pacific with an ... continue reading


NASA to study an asteroid that may destroy the Earth -- without even coming close Watch

Image of Asteroid Psyche is thought to be composed of precious metals.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It's a staple of science fiction. An asteroid is on a collision course with Earth, so NASA sends a ragtag crew of astronauts to intervene, thus saving humanity. But in reality, the odds are even better that NASA could destroy the Earth, by sending a crew to an asteroid ... continue reading


It's time to STOP PLAYING GOD: Scienists say they are ready to create a baby using TWO MEN Watch

Image of What happens when men play God? Nothing good.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mad scientists are real and they are working hard to play God, suggesting they may now be able to create a baby from two men, and no women. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - British scientists say they can now make babies using skin cells from two men. Other ... continue reading


NASA has a plan, to make a plan, to save you from killer asteroids Watch

Image of The launch of OSIRIS-REx to Bennu is NASA's first attempt to intercept an asteroid. The craft arrives in the fall of 2018.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Since the 1990s, the public has been regaled with tales of what would happen if Earth were in the sights of a killer asteroid. In every story, the world is saved by brave astronauts who commit their lives to saving humanity. But is that how the story is likely to go? ... continue reading


Is a new star of Bethlehem about to appear in the sky? Astronomers say new star will appear in 2022 in the constellation of the NORTHERN CROSS Watch

Image of A new star will appear in the sky in 2022 in the constellation of Cygnus, which is also known as the Northern Cross.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new star is about to appear in the sky in the constellation of the Northern Cross. Scientists are predicting the appearance of a new star in our night sky in the year 2022. What does the appearance of this new star mean? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- ... continue reading


What's a spoon doing on Mars? Better yet, what are TWO spoons doing on Mars and HOW did they get there? Watch

Image of What's this spoon doing on Mars?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is a spoon doing on Mars? It's an excellent question given NASA has now found two such objects on the Red Planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- In the future, astronauts may enjoy a pint of their favorite ice cream on Mars. And it appears they won't have ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:1-10
1 So, since the Law contains no more than a reflection of the good things ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 10, 11
2 He pulled me up from the seething chasm, from the mud of the mire. He ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:31-35
31 Now his mother and his brothers arrived and, standing outside, sent in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 24th, 2017 Image

St. Francis de Sales
January 24: St. Francis de Sales was born to a noble family ... Read More