LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Sky-watchers in the Southland and across the Northern Hemisphere could be in for a treat as a brand-new meteor shower is expected to light up the night sky, according to NASA officials.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports scientists still aren’t sure how impressive the new Camelopardalids meteor shower will be, but one thing is certain: you won’t be able to see it under the bright lights of Los Angeles proper.
Between 11:30 p.m. and 1 a..m. tonight, the Earth will directly cross the dusty trails left behind by a recently discovered comet named Comet 209P/LINEAR, according to NASA.
Discovered in 2004, 209P/LINEAR’s path has been slowly altered by Jupiter’s gravity over the last 200 years and the leftover dust will now cross Earth’s path, which could mean those in North America – weather permitting – will have a front-row seat to a potentially dazzling celestial display of fireworks.
While some astronomers are hoping to see anywhere between three or four to up to 400 meteors an hour, Griffith Observatory Director Dr. Ed Krupp said the only certainty about this event is that the meteors will appear from the northern constellation Camelopardalis.
“I wish we really could say tonight how many meteors we’re going to see, but the charm of this meteor shower is it’s never been seen before,” Krupp said. “It might be a really interesting one or it might be one that’s almost invisible.”
While Griffith Observatory will not be open for viewing, Krupp said the best locations to view the shower are anywhere beyond the city lights of LA.
NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke will host a live web chat from 8 p.m. until midnight on the meteor shower.
Click here for some of the best stargazing sites in Los Angeles County.