Monday, June 10, 2013

Rarely Seen Gamma Delphinids Meteor Shower Tonight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- A meteor shower rarely seen during a human's lifetime is expected to make an Earthly appearance overnight tonight, June 10-11, 2013.

The gamma Delphinids meteor shower was first observed as an outburst by American observers in Maryland on June 11, 1930.  Only a few meteors from this shower are believed to have been seen since. 

If you decide to watch the meteor shower tonight - don't blink or you just might miss it!  That's because the gamma Delphinids speed through the heavens at 127,500 miles per hour - a pretty fast meteor by astronomers' standards.

NASA scientists hope that tonight's sky watchers will help them capture pictures and videos of the rare gamma Delphinids meteor shower from around the world.  The NASA Meteoroid Environment Office has created a Flickr group where the images and video can be uploaded:  

"Scientists have been working on calculations, and given that we have minimal interference from the waxing crescent moon, this year is an excellent opportunity for a stargazer to contribute meaningful science for this elusive meteor shower," said Bill Cooke, lead for NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.

Best Time To Watch the 2013 gamma Delphinids meteor shower:

Some gamma Delphinids could appear as early as 9:30 p.m. of the viewer's local time when the constellation Delphinus rises from the eastern horizon.

But the best time to watch is during the meteor shower's peak which is projected to be at 4:30 a.m. of the viewer's local time.

Where to Look for the Meteor Shower:

Just like the Sun or Moon rising and setting from east to west, the location of the meteor shower will rise in the east beginning at 9:30 p.m. and will be highest in the night sky at 4:30 a.m.

Light from the pre-dawn Sunrise will obscure viewing the meteor shower beginning around 6 a.m.