Comet LINEAR 2014: New Meteor Shower Predicted on May 24

January 12, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Comet LINEAR is going to bring a new meteor shower in May 2014, according to meteor experts.

The comet will bring the shower on May 24, according to Quanzhi Ye and Paul A. Wiegert of the University of Western Ontario. They used images from the comet’s last pass around the sun in 2008 and 2009 to predict what kind of meteor shower it could create when it passes by the sun early this May.

Their calculations predict that the comet has been producing large particles that should produce up to 200 meteors per hour on May 24. 

Jérémie Vaubaillon of IMCEE in France also predicts the comet will bring a shower in May, though he doesn’t specify May 24 as the date, reported Sky and Telescope. Vaubaillon estimates that “All the trails ejected between 1803 and 1924 cross Earth’s path in May 2014,”

“As a consequence, this shower might as well be a storm,” he added.

Russian meteor expert Mihail Maslov also believes the new shower will come in May, and believes that at least 100 and possibly over 400 meteors will come per hour. No meteor outbursts have been linked to the comet since its discovery in 2004. 

NASA’s Goldstone Asteroid Schedule includes Comet Linear. It says it “may generate an intense meteor shower.”

Perhaps the best part of the new predicted shower, for those in the United States, is that the shower should peak between 7 and 8 Universal Time on May 24, when it will be dark across most of North America. 

“The meteors’ apparent point of origin (radiant) will be quite far north in declination (in Camelopardalis, says Vaubaillon), again favoring the U.S. and Canada,” wrote Kelly Beatty of Sky and Telescope. “And the Moon will be a narrow waning sliver just a few days from new. Everything is ‘go’ for the best meteor display since the dramatic Leonid showers of the late 1990s.”

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