• Mark Alan Lovewell

Memorial Day Weekend Meteor Shower

If you have time tonight, take a walk outside and look to the heavens. Comet 209P/LINEAR is passing by and the earth is traveling through a portion of the comet’s orbit. It could be a bold and beautiful night. Or it could be a bust. Such is the story of backyard astronomy.

Comet 209P/LINEAR is a periodic meteor that spends its time orbiting the Sun, completing its cycle every five years. It was discovered in 2004.

Recently the gravitational influences of Jupiter altered the comet’s orbit, making it come closer to earth. The orbits of some comets are clean and if this is the case we will see nothing. But if there is dust within the orbit, the scene could be a spectacle.

Meteors are small pieces of space debris that enter our atmosphere at a fast rate and burn up. There are a dozen meteor showers a year. The Perseid meteor shower in August is the most popular, both because it appears in the summer and due to the frequency that its meteors speed across the sky.

Tonight’s meteor shower is entirely new.

If you are outside tonight and catch sight of the meteor shower, keep track of the time and the number of meteors you see and let us know.
  

Sunrise and Sunset
DaySunriseSunset
Fri., May 235:158:01
Sat., May 245:148:02
Sun., May 255:138:03
Mon., May 265:138:04
Tues., May 275:128:05
Wed., May 285:118:06
Thurs., May 295:118:06
Fri., May 305:108:07

Temperatures and Precipitations
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
May 1670570.00
May 1768580.12
May 1869500.00
May 1970480.00
May 2067500.07
May 216748T
May 2270510.00

 

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 63º F

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