Science
1:11 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Impressive Meteor Shower Expected Early Saturday Morning

The director of WKU's Hardin Planetarium says a meteor show early Saturday morning could be the best of the decade
Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio
WKU's Dr. Richard Gelderman explains what might be visible early Saturday morning

If you’re up late Friday night – or early Saturday morning, you could be in store for a dramatic light show in the sky.  Dr. Richard Gelderman, director of WKU’s Hardin Planetarium says we could see the best meteor shower of the year – possibly the decade.

“A comet has just passed near the sun and we are about to run into its trail,” said Gelderman.  “That’s going to probably be a whole lot of dust. It’s going to come when the moon is not going to be in the sky, so it will be nice and dark and it will come when our part of the earth is slamming right into the dust stream.”

Gelderman says the best time to view the comet will likely be between midnight and 2 a.m. central time Saturday morning, but he notes those time estimates aren’t always precise.

“You want to get away from town. If you’re in a rural setting where there aren’t many lights, that’s the best thing.  From a very dark setting – get yourself a lawn chair or a blanket and make yourself comfortable and you’re going to lay down pointing toward the north,” said Gelderman.

Gelderman says to look for a “wonderful, tongue-twisting and obscure constellation named Camelopardalis” which can be seen from Kentucky above the Big Dipper but beneath the North Pole star.