Meteor shower expected to dazzle Valley skywatchers

May 19, 2014, 5:00 AM | Updated: 6:31 am

PHOENIX — Keep an eye to the sky this weekend as a dazzling meteor shower is expected to be overhead.

The Camelopardalis meteor shower is expected to be visible overnight Friday into early Saturday morning, said Carl Hergenrother, a science team member on the Osiris Rex Mission at the University of Arizona.

“What we know about this meteor shower is it’s the result of a comet that was only discovered about ten years ago,” he said.

The shower is caused by Earth passing through a trail of dust and gas left behind as comet 209P/Linear orbits between Jupiter and the Sun. Hergenrother said the comet completes its orbit about every five years, but passing through the wake of dust should create a burst of meteors this time.

“So instead of seeing maybe meteor a night from this particular meteor shower, which is what we saw in the past, there is the potential, not guaranteed, but there is the potential we may see a couple hundred per hour,” he said.

Hergenrother said no one is exactly sure what to expect, but the display could be quite spectacular because meteors entering the earth’s atmosphere should be traveling at a slower speed that most other showers, allowing the meteors to be visible for longer periods of time.

“In this case (the meteors) are almost 20 kilometers per second, which definitely sounds fast, but actually for a meteor shower that’s pretty low,” he said. “That’s one of the cool things I’m looking forward with this meteor shower.”

Hergenrother recommends watching from as dark a location as possible while sitting in a lawn or beach chair facing north, and said the best to watch is around midnight on Friday.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Amkor Technology to bring semiconductor facility to Peoria...

Serena O'Sullivan

Peoria City Council paves the way for new semiconductor packaging and test facility

Tempe-based Amkor Technology is set to launch an advanced semiconductor packaging and test facility in north Peoria, officials said.

57 minutes ago

Sunnyslope campus...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona Humane Society closing Sunnyslope campus, new facility set to open in Phoenix

The Arizona Humane Society's Sunnyslope campus is in the process of being relocated to the Rob and Melani Walton Papago Park Campus.

1 hour ago

Paul Russell and Jake Hoot are among the scheduled performers for the Out of the Park Music Fest on...

City of Surprise to close out spring training with music festival

Surprise will finish its spring training season by hosting a music festival on the final day of games in the West Valley city.

1 hour ago

Doctors at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix used the FARAPULSE Pulsed Field Ablation Sy...

Kevin Stone

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix debuts new atrial fibrillation treatment

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is now treating atrial fibrillation with a new device that reduces the risk of complications.

1 hour ago

Person planting a 5 foot tree...

Some residents in Mesa qualify for a free shade tree

Qualifying Mesa residents can now enroll in the city's tree shade program, which offers eligible participants the opportunity to plant a tree in their yard at no cost.

10 hours ago

Teen girl accused of attacking, robbing victim, Gilbert police say...

Gilbert PD arrest teen girl accused of attacking victim in youth violence case

The Gilbert Police Department said on Tuesday it arrested a teen girl accused of attacking and robbing a victim in September 2023.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.



The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Meteor shower expected to dazzle Valley skywatchers