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

(AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)...
Griselda Zetino

Empty seats: Reversing chronic absenteeism rates in Arizona schools will take time

The rate of students missing too many school days spiked following the pandemic in Arizona, and now schools are on the hunt for solutions.
5 hours ago
(Lev Libeskind Rendering)...
Danny Shapiro

Mario Kart-themed apartment building coming to downtown Phoenix next year

Rainbow Road is among the most iconic Mario Kart maps and a developer plans to bring it to life in the form of an apartment building in downtown Phoenix.
5 hours ago
State Farm Stadium with Super Bowl XLVII logo on exterior in Glendale, Arizona....
Kevin Stone

Want to bet on Super Bowl? It’s legal in Arizona, but watch out for scams

It's perfectly legal bet on the Super Bowl and other sporting events in Arizona, but bad actors could be lurking with the big game in town.
5 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Union High School District)...

Phoenix Union High School District revisiting campus security, hosting talks with public

A Valley school district that eliminated campus resource officers is again asking for community input on the role of police at school.
5 hours ago
(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.
1 day ago
(Mesa Police Department photo)...

4 children missing in Mesa after being taken by father

The Mesa Police Department is searching for four children that were taken by their father on Sunday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Meteor shower expected to dazzle Valley skywatchers