Tonight, in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, a meteor shower is expected to make a spectacular appearance. Coming from the constellation Camelopardalis, as many as 100 to 400 meteors per hour may be seen from the comet 209P/LINEAR. The Earth will enter the debris of this comet sometime late tonight/early tomorrow morning (between 2am to 4am). Scientists aren’t quite sure what we can expect from this meteor shower, but it could be one of the most spectacular light shows we’ve seen this century (or it could be a flop).
Photographer Thomas O’Brien has released this stunning time-lapse of several meteor showers including the Perseid, Geminid and Leonid showers shot over a seven year period. Thomas has put together some tips on photographing meteor showers over on the Muench Workshops site in case you are one of the ones who will be staying up late to photograph tonight’s show. Here’s a map (courtesy of USA Today) of the meteor viewing conditions around the country.
So, my fellow insomniacs, astrophotographers, and science geeks, enjoy Thomas O’Brien’s video, Meteor, below for some inspiration and don’t forget to check out our very own astrophotographers Justin Ng and Matthew Saville for some of their articles on shooting the night sky.
NASA will be hosting a live UStream view and web chat from 11pm to 3am EDT in case you’re not in an area where you’ll be able to see the show. And if you get some great shots of tonight’s meteor showers, please share them with us! (I’m too much of a wimp and will likely be sleeping in my warm bed when the show starts).