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NASA: Camelopardalids meteor shower

Rare Camelopardalids light up the night sky!

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Dalia Ibrahim
Digital Reporter

Sunday, May 25, 2014, 4:04 PM -

It was rare sight in the skies over North America Saturday morning as a meteor shower lit up the night sky. 

It was part of the phenomenon known as the May Camelopardalids. 

The name refers to the constellation and the angle in our sky from where the meteors appeared. 

NASA says the shower was made up of debris from comet 209P/Linear. It crosses the earth's orbit once every five years as it circles the sun. 

In 2012, NASA announced that Earth would encounter debris from this comet crossing our orbit this weekend.

Sun Chaser Gavin Heffernan managed to get out to California's Joshua Tree National Park, where he captured a few nice strikes with the Milky Way in the background.

RELATED: Rare meteor shower may turn into a storm next week

"All the pictures were taken on Canon 6D, 24mm f/1.4 lens at 25 second exposures on Saturday May 24th," he told The Weather Network.

Astronomer and photographer Malcolm Park, who set up a battery of cameras on the north shore of Lake Erie at Ontario’s Rondeau Provincial Park, might have gotten the most out of the meteor shower. 

With his long exposure times, Park was able to capture the slow unfolding beauty of the meteor shower, in which he explained on NASA's website Sunday.

Image courtesy: Malcolm Park, www.photopark.ca

Image courtesy: Malcolm Park, www.photopark.ca

Park writes:

"From a camp on the northern shores of the Great Lake Erie, three short bright meteor streaks were captured in this composited night skyscape. Recorded over the early morning hours of May 24, the meteors are elusive Camelopardalids. Their trails point back to the meteor shower's radiant near Polaris, in the large but faint constellation Camelopardalids the camel leopard, or in modern terms the Giraffe. While a few meteors did appear, the shower was not an active one as the Earth crossed through the predicted debris trail of periodic comet 209P/LINEAR. Of course, the long bright streak in the image did appear as predicted. Early on May 24, the International Space Station made a bright passage through northern skies." 

View more of Malcolm Park's work on his website, here

Did you manage to get out and see any yourself? Be sure to upload them to our website!

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