Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/23/2014 (6 months 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 (6 months 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.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Technology

Hydrogen-running car to be sold by Toyota Watch

Image of Mirai's compressed hydrogen gas will be stored in two tanks mounted underneath the vehicle. The cars emit no exhaust, although fossil fuels are used in the production of hydrogen and to pressurize it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Toyota, the world's largest auto manufacturer plans to begin selling the world's first hydrogen-powered car. The company only expects to sell 400 in Japan and 300 to the rest of the world immediately - but it's being recognized as the first emission-free made ... continue reading


BACK FROM THE DEAD? Scientific community rages on whether to clone Wooly Mammoth back to life Watch

Image of In order to bring the wooly mammoth back into the realm of the living, an elephant would have to act as a surrogate, carrying the mammoth for 22 months before giving birth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new attempt to bring the long-extinct wooly mammoth back to life through cloning is raging anew in the scientific community. South Korean scientists believe the Ice Age "Mammuthus" can be brought back to life using the DNA of an extremely well preserved ... continue reading


Fascinating photos beamed back from comet by Philae probe Watch

Image of The agency can't guarantee if Philae will once again be operational, but even if it does not the agency says it is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After landing on Comet 67P last week, high-resolution pictures have now been released taken by the Philae probe. Acquired by the Narrow Angle Camera on the Rosetta satellite, the dainty robot was dropped towards the surface of the "ice mountain" - although the ... continue reading


Prepare to be surprised as you enjoy these rare, colorized historic photos Watch

Image of A photograph of a Japanese samurai taken in 1881.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A thread on the popular social media website Reddit is taking the internet back in time, bringing famous and unusual photographs from history and colorizing them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These amazing photos show slices of life from the late 19th ... continue reading


UPDATED - So we've landed on a comet, what's the big deal? (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of The Rosetta probe will orbit comet 67/P and continue studying it as it approaches the sun.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today, a European Space Agency (ESA) probe will become the first man-made object to land on a comet. The washing machine-sized Philae lander will touch down on the surface of comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko. As the world follows the landing with bated breath, we cannot ... continue reading


U.S. strikes at 'Dark Net': Seizes $1 million and arrests 17 Watch

Image of During a joint operation between the U.S. and European countries, 400 websites, including Silk Road 2.0, that were trafficking illegal goods were shut down. Also seized were about $1 million in bitcoins.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over 400 hidden internet sites, including the infamous drug selling and trading website Silk Road 2.0, have been shut down in a joint operation between the United States and 16 European nations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These sites are charged with being ... continue reading


DANGER, DANGER Will Robinson: Amazon 'Echo' will soon be in every home, analyst says Watch

Image of Critics say

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Internet marketplace leader Amazon announced the introduction of their new gadget Echo last week. Naysayers were quick to dismiss it along the lines of Apple's Siri, Google Now or Microsoft's Cortana. Columnist Mike Elgan of ComputerWorld disagrees, predicting ... continue reading


Building a better potato: Genetically Modified 'Zombie' Potatoes Watch

Image of Developed by the J. R. Simplot Company, a privately held company based in Boise, Idaho, the company was the first supplier of frozen French fries to McDonald's in the 1960s. Simplot the founder, who died in 2008, became a billionaire.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Acrylamide, which is suspected of being a cancer-causing agent, is produced whenever potatoes are fried. Now, agricultural researchers have perfected a new version of the potato with DNA that has been altered to minimize the agent. The Food and Drug ... continue reading


Big losses for Amazon in the Stock Market Watch

Image of Amazon sales are down, and some worry the company will not meet its goals for the 2014 Holiday shopping season.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American retail giant Amazon has revealed some shocking financial news, that it has lost nearly $500 million in the past three months. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amazon's shares dropped by 11% in after-hours trading, which took more than $15 billion off the ... continue reading


So, the Apple haters were wrong again - take a bite of this! Watch

Image of Apple has seen growth in the sales of its iPhones and Macs from this time in 2013, while sales of tablets have shrunk in the same time frame.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tech giant Apple has sold 39.3 million iPhones over the past quarter, which includes sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus which were released in the United States on September 19. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sales of the iPhone rose past most expectations, ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9
1 After this, I saw another angel come down from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2014 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of Persia and a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter