Keep an eye to the sky tonight to view the peak of the Camelopardalid meteor shower. Cloud cover may obstruct viewing, but partly cloudy to clear skies are expected tomorrow with viewing still possible.
Earth will pass through cloud debris from comet 209P/LINEAR, producing a never-before-seen meteor shower! According to NASA, meteor rates could exceed 200 per hour in clear visibility regions between midnight and 2:00 a.m. Saturday.
Meteor watching simply requires good visibility away from city lights. Binoculars may help but the unaided eye will produce a good show in dark, clear sky conditions.
The waning crescent moon will help with dark viewing conditions. You are advised to gaze at the entire sky.
The meteors are seen as bright streaks across the night sky as tiny particles burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. Traveling at thousands of miles an hour, the so-called 'shooting stars' are seen 30 to 80 miles above the ground.
The rare few meteors that survive entry into Earth's atmosphere and hit the ground are known as meteorites.
Also visible tonight, if broken cloud cover allows, will be Venus, near the crescent moon towards the eastern horizon before sunrise Saturday morning.
The above information is courtesy of Jim Todd, director of space science education at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
Meteorologist Rod Hill, follow me @