Meteor Shower Friday Night/Saturday Morning: Will It Be A Hit Or - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Meteor Shower Friday Night/Saturday Morning: Will It Be A Hit Or A Bust?

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Comet 209P/Linear was discovered in 2004. It will be about 7.6 million miles from Earth on Saturday. Next Tuesday, the comet will pass within 5 million miles. Comet 209P/Linear was discovered in 2004. It will be about 7.6 million miles from Earth on Saturday. Next Tuesday, the comet will pass within 5 million miles.
KHQ.com - Late Friday night and into early Saturday morning, Earth will pass through debris from Comet 209P/Linear. But two big questions loom for us here in the Spokane area: 1.) Will clouds prevent us from seeing it And 2.) Will it be a bust?    

The answer to the first question is easy to answer. When you woke up Friday morning, you were treated to a wonderful sunny day. But as the afternoon moved in, so did the clouds. However, KHQ's Leslie Lowe says she is expecting breaks in the clouds during the primetime viewing time of 11:00pm Friday night to 1:00am Saturday morning. 

Meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens is predicting the peak time of the shower to be at 12:18am Pacific time, whesky watchersers could see 100-400 meteors per hour.

The second question is a little harder to answer because even people that study meteors for a living, like that aforementioned Peter Jenniskens, don't know if we will even see anything. Not because of sky conditions though, because scientists don't really know how much debris has been left behind because they aren't sure if the comet was shedding dust in the 18th, 19th or 20th century. Because of that, Jenniskens tells NBC, we may see nothing at all.

But to stay on the glass half-full side of things, Jenniskens says if there was a meteor shower, tonight's the night. You should keep your expectations low, but he says it certainly has potential.

If we do see them, the shooting stars would appear to emanate from a point near the North Star, in the dim constellation Camelopardalis (the Giraffe). That's why the meteor shower has a name that's a real mouthful: the Camelopardalids.

So let's say there is a shower, but we here in Spokane are "clouded out." There are a few online sites that will be streaming the event live, and even though it's not the same as in person, it should still be cool to see. 




  • Even if you can't see the meteors, you can still hear them — thanks to SpaceWeather Radio. When meteors pass over a specially configured radio antenna in New Mexico, the 54 MHz TV signals reflected by the meteor trails are registered and translated into weird-sounding audible whistles: http://spaceweatherradio.com/
 If you are watching the meteor shower tonight and get any good pictures, share them on social media with the hashtag: #KHQMeteor!
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