Viewing tips: 209P/LINEAR Meteor storm lights up Memorial Day Weekend tonight

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To view tonight's meteor shower, look to the northern sky in the constellation Camelopardalis, near the Big and Little Dippers. Map: UniverseToday.com
To view tonight's meteor shower, look to the northern sky in the constellation Camelopardalis, near the Big and Little Dippers. Map: UniverseToday.com

SAN DIEGO, May 23, 2014 – The name is a big one and so are expectations for this weekend’s Camelopardalid meteor shower. Observers in the continental U.S. and southern Canada will be treated to a rare show.

It’s predicted to be so big it will qualify as a meteor storm, not just a shower. Experts and amateur viewers will all eagerly watch to see the show.


READ ALSO: The Great Meteor Storm of 2014: What you need to know about Camelopardalid


Astronomers announced in 2012 the debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR was plentiful enough to create this display sometime in late May. Now that the dates are closer, the peak night is expected Friday night or early Saturday morning depending on your time zone.

To view tonight's meteor shower, look to the northern sky in the constellation Camelopardalis, near the Big and Little Dippers. Map: UniverseToday.com
To view tonight’s meteor shower, look to the northern sky in the constellation Camelopardalis, near the Big and Little Dippers. Map: UniverseToday.com

The meteors will seem to come out of the constellation “Camelopardalis,” (The Giraffe), so this is why the shower is being called the Camelopardalids. This constellation is in the northern sky, very closer to the north celestial pole. Look toward the North Star and to the west of the Big Dipper, south of the Little Dipper which are both visible in most areas. The best viewing hours are between 2 and 4 a.m. ET, or 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT.


READ ALSO: The 209P/LINEAR Meteor storm – Live Chat and Live Streaming Video here


The East Coast from Pennsylvania and New Jersey south to Florida, and west to the Mississippi River will have good viewing. The northern Rocky Mountain states (Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho) and California will also have good viewing. Viewing in the Midwest is not expected to be as good.

Predictions are just that, predictions and not promises. So there isn’t any way to tell for sure just how exciting this show will be. But it’s a long holiday weekend so why not at least set your alarm clock for a look?

A tidbit about the name of the constellation: in ancient Rome, people thought a giraffe looked like a cross between a camel and a leopard, which is where the name “Camelopardalis” came from.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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