The next big meteor shower


What is the next big meteor shower? According to E. Lyytinen and P. Jenniskens, the comet 209P/LINEAR (2004 CB) will cause it in 2014. We checked is and actually confirm this prediction by running our meteor shower prediction model.


Here is the location of the meteoroid stream ejected by the comet at the Earth in 2014:

Here is the location of the simulated radiant, located in the Camelopardalis constellation:

3D view of the 1903 meteoroid trail in the Solar system:

Equivalent 2D view (XY).

It is clear the the Earth will cross it on May 24th around 7:40 UT. Now the crucial question is to know the level of the shower: will it be an outburst or a storm?


The estimate of level of the shower is based on photometric measurements of the comet. Very few data are currently available (as on Oct. 2014). So far, given the observations, we estimate a ZHR of 100/hr to 400/hr, which is an excellent outburst! But this shower can become an exceptional one. Indeed, given the current orbit of the comet (from JPL HORIZONS ephemerids database), ALL THE TRAILS EJECTED BETWEEN 1803 AND 1924 DO FALL IN THE EARTH PATH IN MAY 2014!!! As a consequence, this shower might as well be a storm. But how to definitely know whether or not it will be a storm?

Where to observe?

The best location to observe is South of the astronomical twilight zone (Sun elevation less than 18 deg) and North of the radiant elevation=35 deg trace in the fig below. The best location is therefore located in the North West of the North American continent, and includes US and Canada.

Courtesy: B. Berard, IMCCE

Call for Observation of comet 209P/LINEAR (2004 CB)

The only way to know if this shower will be a storm or not is to better know the parent body, comet 209P/LINEAR (2004 CB). AS A CONSEQUENCE, WE CALL FOR OBSERVATION: ASTROMETRY, PHOTOMETRY - MAGNITUDE AND [Afrho] MEASUREMENTS! ANY data will help in order to derive the ZHR (number of visible meteors - after correction).

Comet 209P: What to observe / measure?

Comet 209P: How will we use the measurement?

Please, see Vaubaillon et al. (2005) for details.


A. Christou for reminding me to perform the simulation of this comet. E. Lyytinen and P. Jenniskens for their exploration work. The simulations performed to determine the best location on Earth for optimal observation conditions were created by D. Berard - IMCCE 2013.

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