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New meteor shower to be called Camelopardalids tonight if all goes well

Streaks of light across sky to be named after the giraffe

  • A picture of a Perseid meteor by <a href="http://astrosaintlouisneuweg.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/chasse-aux-perseides-a-fraize-88/">Gerard Wymann</a>

    A picture of a Perseid meteor by Gerard Wymann

    Yeah, that’s right. Try saying that name ten times fast. There may be a new meteor shower after tonight.

    The earth will pass through a dust trail from a comet tonight, and the dust will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere creating streaks of light across the sky called meteors.The constellation Camelopardalis is where the meteor streaks will appear to come from as Earth in that direction moves through the dust trail in its orbit.

    Check the forecast where you live tonight for the meteor shower

    The constellation Camelopardalis was named by Flemish astronomer Petrus Planicus in the early 1600’s, thinking a giraffe looked like a camel with the spots of a leopard. The glowing streaks come from the dust and rocks of the comet debris trail burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere as friction between the rock and air molecules increases.

    However, if the meteor survives the trip to Earth, it is then called a meteorite.

    The best time to watch the Camelopardalids will be after midnight before sunrise from 1am to 2am before sunrise on the East Coast of the U.S. Just lay down in a lawn chair and look toward the northern sky towards the Big and Little Dipper.


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