One-of-a-Kind Meteorite Shower Expected Overnight Friday
Stargazers may receive something of a treat this Shabbat, as the earth passes through a meteorite shower late Friday night.
On May 23 and 24, the Earth will pass through a stream of debris left by Comet 290P/LINEAR nearly 200 years ago. Astronomers predict that the resulting meteorite shower, dubbed "the Camelopardalid meteor shower," will be bright, beautiful - and the first of its kind.
The head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, Dr. Bill Cooke, stated that "some forecasters have predicted more than 200 meteors per hour."
However, he noted that scientists are still unsure whether or not the event will happen at all.
"We have no idea what the comet was doing in the 1800s," says Cooke. As a result of the uncertainty, "there could be a great meteor shower—or a complete dud."
Conflicting studies from 2012 showed that while the Earth will pass through the shower on Friday night, there is no consensus over how much debris the comet left behind.
For eager stargazers, the optimal time to view the shower in Israel is between 10:30 p.m. - 4:30 a.m. Friday night/Saturday, according to Israel Hayom.
Meteorite spotters in North America are advised to watch from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) Saturday, according to USA Today.