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New Meteor Shower Discovered; May Uncover New Comet
February Eta Draconids could be sign of hazardous comet, scientists say.
Published August 10, 2011
For the first time since 2007, astronomers have spotted a new meteor shower over Earth.
And while this sky show may not be as dazzling as the upcoming Perseids, it could provide the seeds for locating a mysterious and potentially hazardous comet.
Scientists with the Cameras for All-sky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) project observed the handful of faint shooting stars on the night of February 4. "I was really surprised to find that, over a seven-hour period, we managed to snap images of six meteors racing across the sky at nearly 80,000 miles [129,000 kilometers] an hour, all coming from the same direction," said study leader Peter Jenniskens, an astronomer at the SETI Institute and the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
"I knew immediately that they were all related and represented a new shower."
As with other established meteor showers, the new meteors are named for the constellation from which they appear to radiate—in this case, the northern constellation Draco, near the star Eta Draconis. Since there's already a shower called the Eta Draconids that peaks in April, this new one has been dubbed the February Eta Draconids.
Most meteor showers are created when dust shed by a passing comet or asteroid enters Earth's atmosphere, and astronomers have been able to trace the known meteor showers back to their parent bodies.
The calculated orbit of the new debris stream doesn't match the orbit of the known parent of the April Eta Draconids. So for now, no one knows which object is responsible for the February shower—or how close that body might get to Earth in the future.
"By calculating out the orbit of the meteoritic dust trail, it appears the parent comet definitely crosses Earth's orbit—making it something we want to investigate further," Jenniskens said.
(Related: "New Comet Found; May Be Visible From Earth in 2013.")
More info here...
The results are controversial, however. Even Halliday recognized some big statistical uncertainties in his results.
Originally posted by Afterthought
reply to post by CaticusMaximus
That's what I was thinking, too.
Didn't a report just come out saying that the Pope was going to be going into seclusion and the public weren't going to be seeing him anymore? Underground bunker maybe? I'll have to locate this article.
Strange times indeed!
Here's the very short report:
Pope Benedict XVI told a meeting of priests that he plans to spend his future in seclusion.
"Even if I am withdrawing into prayer I will always be close to all of you and I am sure you will be close to me. ... Even if I remain hidden to the world," he said.edit on 17-2-2013 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)
*our atmosphere has somehow been diminished and these rocks that used to burn out, are now piercing effortlessly into earth.
Originally posted by karen61560
reply to post by Klassified
And as common as shooting stars are I have never seen one myself. I have been at the beach and my kids saw them and my hubby but I have never been fortunate enough to be looking the right way at the right time.
Originally posted by CranialSponge
Yes, I read that which is what made me think of this new FEDS... since they're not sure of the origin of these February fireballs.