Friday, June 20, 2008

Meteor Shower


June isn't known for meteors, but astronomers are keeping a watchful eye on the June Boötids. This little-known shower is linked to Comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke; outbursts occurred in 1998 and 2004.

Observers should be on the lookout for Boötid "shooting-stars" from June 22 to July 3. Any potential outburst, however, will occur between 6:30 P.M. EDT June 26 and 5 A.M. EDT June 27, when Earth grazes the comet's debris trail.

The shower radiant - the point from which meteors seem to fly - lies in the northern part of Boötes, which is visible nearly all night. The Last Quarter Moon, which rises around midnight, will wash out fainter meteors.

courtest Astrononmy magazine