DH Day at Night, photo by Rudy Malmquist
Like many, Rudy stayed up really late to see what the new May Camelopardalids meteor shower would deliver. The answer was “Not a whole lot.” One thing they say is that predictions might have been a bot off and they will put on a show tonight. You can read about the whys and wherefores on EarthSky, but I’d like to make a couple of points.
One is that (as you can see from the photo) the skies last night were jaw-droppingly clear, providing some of the most amazing star gazing in recent memory.
The second (and I think the real payoff) is that those hardy folks who stayed up or dragged themselves out of bed saw an the first act of an event that could take recur for millennia. Having a chance to see the birth of something that operates on a cosmic timescale is pretty darned cool!
View Rudy’s photo of the DH Day Barn in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore bigger and see more in his slideshow.
More meteors on Michigan in Pictures!
Milky Way Over Twin Lake, photo by Yooper Life Photography
EarthSky has a feature on the possible birth of a new meteor shower in May:
In 2014, an exciting new meteor shower – the May Camelopardalids – might come on the scene. And it’s coming up soon! It’s predicted for the night of May 23-24. This possible shower stems from Comet 209P/LINEAR, discovered in 2004. If the predictions hold true, Earth might be sandblasted with debris from this comet, resulting in a fine display of meteors, or shooting stars on the evening of May 23, and the morning of May 24…
The meteors will radiate from the constellation Camelopardalis (camelopard), a very obscure northern constellation. Its name is derived from early Rome, where it was thought of as a composite creature, described as having characteristics of both a camel and a leopard. Nowadays we call such a creature a giraffe! Since meteor in annual showers take their names from the constellation from which they appear to radiate – and since this meteor shower might become an annual event – people are already calling it the May Camelopardalids.
This constellation – radiant point of the May 2014 meteor shower – is in the northern sky, close to the north celestial pole, making this meteor shower better for the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere.
Click through for lots more about the May Camelopardalis including videos and charts of where to look!
Ken took this photo of the Milky Way over Twin Lake near Grand Marais in 2013. View his photo bigger on Facebook and see more on his Yooper Life Page.
More meteor showers on Michigan in Pictures!