SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It could rival the famed Perseid meteor shower from later in the summer, or it could be a dud. But, NASA scientists are nonetheless excited about a new meteor shower that could light up the skies Friday evening.
Calling it the May Camelopardalids, NASA scientists say this meteor shower has never been seen before. The dust from the periodic comet 209P/LINEAR – discovered only back in February 2004 – is expected for fuel the shower.
Bill Cooke, NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office lead, notes that some forecasters predict the Camelopardalids could rain down more than 200 meteors per hour.
“The parent comet doesn’t appear to be very active now, so there could be a great show, or there could be little activity,” Cooke said in a release.
The Perseids peak at about 60 meteors per hour.
The Camelopardalids are expected to be visible to the entire continental United States starting around 11 p.m. PST Friday and lasting until 1 a.m.
NASA scientists say that the meteor shower will be like a blast from the past, being that the streams of dust were ejected from the comet back in the 1800s.