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New Meteor Shower Later This Month

May 15, 2014; 8:09 AM ET

Update to a previous blog

We were hoping that there would be some more answers about this event as we get closer to it. However, that is not the case. There are still plenty of questions with the main one being exactly how big of an event this is going to be. I think we can narrow it down a bit, it is not likely to be a meteor "storm" (around of greater than 1,000 meteors per hour) but will likely be a meteor "shower" (when you see more meteors than an average night but nowhere near 1,000 meteors per hour).

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Most meteor showers are predictable, thus you can plan on them.

Thanks to the Old Farmer's Almanac, here is a list of 2014's most well-known meteor showers:

However, this list may need to be added to. This is due to Comet 209P/LINEAR which was discovered in 2004 by an automated observing campaign. Detailed calculations of its orbit indicated that in May 2014 the comet's debris trails will pass extremely close to Earth (about 0.0002 Earth-Sun distances, or within spitting distance of our planet's outermost atmosphere). Thousands of particles could burn up in Earth's atmosphere as shooting stars when our planet slams through the debris field.

Thank you to Mikhail Maslow and Sky and Telescope Magazine for this image.

The region seeing the light (daytime hours) in this image would not get a good view of the shower while the darkened regions will be experiencing night and be able to see the show.

Recent estimates are between 100 and 400 meteors per hour. That would qualify as a meteor "shower" but would not qualify as a meteor "storm" (which is ~ 1,000 per hour).

When: The night of May 24, 2014

Where: southern Canada and the lower 48; Central America

Where to Look: due north making this best viewable in the Northern Hemisphere

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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About This Blog

Astronomy Blog
The AccuWeather.com astronomy blog, by Mark Paquette, discusses stargazing and astronomy issues and how the weather will interact with current astronomy events.