New meteor shower might light up Ontario skies
The areas surrounding Toronto might be in for a cosmic treat this weekend, as a new meteor shower is forecast in the wee hours on May 24th. While it sounds strange to term the debris from a comet that first passed by Earth back in the early 1800s as "new," it'll be a first for skywatchers. Despite this distant origin, scientists predict that we've almost reached the debris field and could have another meteor shower to get excited about far before the Perseids (August) and Leonids (November).
The Camelopardalids (meteor showers are named after the constellation from which they derive) could feature as many as 200 shooting stars per hour, which would make it a massive storm. That's a best case scenario. Because it's difficult to determine exactly what the comet was doing back in the early 19th century, there's a chance that the debris field might not be big enough to generate an impressive display of shooting stars.
If you're out of the city in an area relatively free of light pollution it probably makes sense to take a chance on this one -- well, that is if celestial events like this turn your crank. The peak of the storm is expected to take place between 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Saturday morning (a.k.a. late Friday night). That's not so late to stay up for an opportunity to see what could be an exciting show. For more info and view tips, check out this post from NASA.
Photo by geelog in the blogTO Flickr pool.