SETI Institute Scientist Peter Jenniskens Observed a Meteor Shower from Above the Clouds (Update)
May 26 - UPDATE - Video of a meteor from 26,000 ft filmed by Peter Jennikens
This Camelopardalid meteor with wake was filmed by Peter Jenniskens from an altitude of 26,000 ft during the SETI Institute airborne campaign: http://meteor.seti.org.
The meteor appeared low above the horizon in the constellation of Corvus at 07:48:13 UT on May 24, 2014.
May 22 - This never-before-seen meteor shower was caused by debris shed by Comet 209P/Linear as it passed through the inner Solar System every 5 years during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Scientists want to know how such comets behave over time as they cause many of our meteor showers.
The SETI Institute sent Jenniskens and his observing team to the skies above 20,000 feet to observe the event above the clouds and atmospheric dust. Jenniskens studied the shower with his autonomous meteor shower surveillance stations at Lick Observatory, Fremont Peak Observatory, and in Sunnyvale. The flight originated from Palo Alto, Calif. at 10:30 PM PDT, head towards Seattle, and returned to Palo Alto approximately four hours later.
Friday night’s encounter with the comet debris shed light on the mystery of whether the comet was active in the past. Depending on that answer, the shower could be a spectacular display or a no-show, informing us that the comet moved through the centuries intact, shedding little debris for us to observe. Either outcome is scientifically important.