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Friday, 23 May 2014


BAA electronic bulletin


On the night on 2014 May 23/24, there is a strong possibility of meteor
activity from a new shower connected with periodic comet 209P/LINEAR.

The parent comet 209P/LINEAR is a Jupiter-family comet with a period of 5.1
years.  It was discovered in February 2004 by the Lincoln Near-Earth
Asteroid Research project, a cooperative effort of NASA, the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, and the US Air Force.  The comet
last passed perihelion on 2014 May 6, at a distance of 0.97 AU from the Sun.

Peak rates could be anywhere between 30 m/h and 400 m/h, but activity may
well be comparable with that of the annual Perseid shower - although any
burst in activity could be fairly short-lived - but with the size
distribution skewed towards the larger meteoroids, there may be a
preponderance of bright meteors.

Calculations by Esko Lyytinen of Finland and Peter Jenniskens of the NASA
Ames Research Center indicate that the shower will be caused mainly by dust
ejected from the comet back in the early 1800s.  However, nobody can be sure
exactly how much dust will be encountered by the Earth on May 23/24, because
we do not know how active Comet 209P/LINEAR was back in the 1800s.

If there is meteor activity, the peak is predicted for between 0600 and 0800
UT on the morning of 2014 May 24, unfortunately during daylight hours from
the UK.  Observers in North and South America will be favoured IF peak
activity occurs at the predicted time, BUT those in Northern Europe should
be vigilant during the night of May 23/24, particularly during the pre-dawn
hours. There is the chance of spotting some early members of the shower and
there is always the possibility that the predicted time of the peak could be
in error by several hours.

The radiant of the shower will be in the northern part of Camelopardalis
centred on RA  8h 08m, Decl. +79o, only about 11 degrees from the Pole Star.
There will be no interference from moonlight.

The BAA Meteor Section would be very interested in receiving any
observations of  possible meteors from this new shower. Please send them to

This e-bulletin issued by:

John W. Mason,

Director, BAA Meteor Section

2014 May 22

BAA-ebulletin mailing list visit:
(c) 2014 British Astronomical Association

Good Clear Skies
Colin James Watling
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)

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