Image of the Day: Meteors from the Camelopardalids Constellation -The Source of a Mystery Comet?

 
Dn17831-1_300 (1)Astronomers are studying meteors from the Constellation Camelopardalids with the hope that measuring more orbits may eventually help determine the orbit of a mystery comet, a shadowy visitor to Earth's neighborhood. 

The October Camelopardalids are a handful of bright meteors seen on the night of Oct. 5. Moving at a speed of 105,000 miles per hour, Camelopardalids burn up somewhere around 61 miles altitude, according to observations from the NASA allsky meteor cameras on the night of Oct. 5, 2010.
The orbits of the Camelopardalids meteors indicate that they come from a long period comet, like Halley's Comet. But, according to JPL/NASA experts. the Camelopardalids don't come from Halley, or from any of the other comets that have been discovered. These tiny, millimeter size bits of ice leaving pale streaks of light in the heavens are our only clues about a comet of a mile, maybe more, in diameter.

Provided by JPL/NASA 
Image credit: a galaxy cluster in Camelopardus. (X-ray: NASA/CXC/ Univ. Waterloo/B.McNamara; Optical: NASA/ ESA/STScI/Univ. Waterloo/ B.McNamara; Radio: NRAO/Ohio Univ./L.Birzan et al. 

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