Highly anticipated meteor shower turns up a dud

The never-before-seen meteor shower that promised to light up the sky from late Friday night to early Saturday morning was not so spectacular.

Astronomer's predicted that hundreds of meteors would be visible during the Camelopardalid meteor shower's peak between Friday 11 p.m. to Saturday 2 a.m., but stargazers could count the number of shooting stars on one hand.

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"We recorded about five meteors in total from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m.," photographer Dax Castro said in an email Saturday morning.

Castro was able to get a few photos of the meteor shower and shared the following three with News10:

Meteor showers happen when the Earth passes through debris left in space by a comet (the Perseids, for example, are debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle); the debris, little chunks of rock and other material, burns up in the atmosphere to form what some people call shooting or falling stars.

The Camelopardalids was debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR, a very dim comet that orbits the sun every five years. The comet was discovered in 2004 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research project, a partnership of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

The intensity of a meteor shower varies and depends on how much debris the Earth passes through.

Unlike annual showers such as the Perseids and Leonids that have been occurring for hundreds or thousands of years, Camelopardalid meteor shower occurred for the first time Friday night.

Meteor showers are named for the constellation from which the meteors seem to radiate. That point is known as the radiant, and radiant for the Camelopardalids was the constellation Camelopardalis (the giraffe).


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