MINNEAPOLIS - A brand new meteor shower is making its debut on Friday night.
What makes this meteorological event so special is the pure number of shooting stars its expected to produce.
"Camelopardalis, that's a camel with leopard spots, which we now recognize as a giraffe," explained University Of Minnesota Astronomer Terry Jones.
The meteor shower is called the Camelopardalis because the meteors will appear to originate from the northern sky where a constellation of the same name is located.
"It could be the best in decades," says Jones.
This meteor shower has never before been seen on earth that we know of. So while it could be the best in decades it could also be a bust. We just don't know. That said, astronomers expect a good show.
"On the good side, if things work out we'll see, oh, several hundred an hour. So that's a few a minute and they'll be bright," he said.
So how do we see them?
Ron Schmit of the Minnesota Astronomical Society suggests, "Face north, sit down and then just lean back and you'll see them go zipping by you."
Getting out of the city is best, he continues, "So in order to see them better you want to go to weather the sky is dark. Their aren't parking lot lights or neighborhood lights. So you want to get out of the city, typically outside of the 494/694 loop. Find a spot where you've got a nice clear view of the horizon and just look up."
Schmit also invites everyone to join him and the Astronomical Society at a viewing party for the meteor shower just west of the Twin Cities in Young America at the Eagle Lake Observatory. The viewing is from midnight to 3 a.m. early Saturday morning. Directions and more information can be found here.
Minnesota Astronomical Society's Onan Observatory hosts meteor shower watching event KARE