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?
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
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).
- Astrometry: the position of the comet in the sky as a function of time will help to better know the trajectory of the comet in the future and in the past. As a consequence, it will confirm (or not) that all the trails from 1803 to 1924 are indeed crossing the path of the Earth in May 2014.
- Magnitude (visual - absolute): it will help to measure the amount of water the comet is outgasing, as a function of heliocentric distance.
- [Afrho]: will help to compute the amount of dust emitted by the comet
- Infrared data: will help to derive the amount of dust emitted by the comet, as opposed to gas (water).
Please, see Vaubaillon et al. (2005) for details
Given the time of the maximum and from preliminary work, N.America (Canada and Northern US) seems to be the best location so far, BUT ACCURATE DETERMINATION HAS NOT BEEN PERFORMED YET (=preliminary result).
One should NOT go too much north, as at this time of the year the Sun is always above the horizon at the North pole.
One should NOT go too much South, as the radiant gets lower above the horizon.
It will be a few days prior to new Moon, which is a good news. However the Moon will rise a few dozen minutes before the maximum.
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.
: This Website was created with the Ministère de l'Education Nationale, the CNRS and the CNES support. Any use of the data published on this website requires the IMCCE agreement.