Dubai Astronomy Group spokesman Keith Cobby said the shower could last up to several days, depending on how widely dispersed the meteor trail is.
Astronomy enthusiasts could be in for a meteor experience of a lifetime this Friday, with a new shower tipped to rain down as many as 1,000 meteors an hour that could create a “waterfall in the sky”.
The Camelopardalis meteor shower, the first one which will ever be seen on earth emanating from the Camelopardalis constellation — so named due to the long ‘neck’ of the constellation and its leopard-like spots — is predicted by astronomers to be seen for the first time on Friday night.
It is unlikely the rate of 1,000 meteors an hour will be reached, but that is the best case scenario scientists are predicting. “Our opportunity is to at worst see the first meteors coming from a new meteor shower. I am very optimistic and hopeful that we’ll get a good rate, maybe 10, 30, 40, 50 meteors in an hour, and if you asked me what I wished for, it would be to see maybe…200 meteors over an hour period during that night.”
The 1,000 meteors an hour rate would constitute a ‘meteor storm’. “Meteors in a meteor storm, and only two or three have ever been recorded in history…they come through the sky in waves. There will be hundreds or thousands, and it looks like a waterfall in the sky.”
The meteor shower will only be able to be seen in the northern hemisphere — or basically from Dubai northwards, Cobby said.
The cosmic event was creating a big buzz in astronomy circles, and Cobby said the Dubai Astronomy Group’s planned evening at desert resort Bab Al Shams would likely be the biggest event of the year. He was anticipating a turnout of more than 500 people.
The skies should be clear and although the peak would come at 11am on Saturday, Dubai time, there should be lots to see throughout the night through the group’s telescopes, he said.