Thursday, May 8, 2014

Possible meteor shower on May 24

Mark your calendars: May 24 is probably the best night of the year to make Loss of the Night app and Globe at Night observations. The reason? Earth is going to pass through the debris ejected by comet 209P/LINEAR in the 1800s.

Leonid Meteor

Since it's not known what the comet was doing in the 1800s, there's a lot of room for surprises. The peak is forecast between 2-4 o'clock in the morning Eastern Daylight Time (8-10 am Berlin time) on May 24th. Since there is considerable uncertainty on when exactly the peak will occur, depending on your location it may be worth going out on both May 23 (late evening), May 24 (early morning) or the early evening of May 24. Use this applet to figure out the most likely best times to observe at your location.

I have seen a number of meteors while using the app, and even once a fireball over Berlin! The next moon free phase runs from approximately May 19-28.

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