The Dust Trail of Comet 209P/LINEAR

  • Released Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:50PM
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Comet 209P/LINEAR is a short-period comet discovered in 2004.

The comet's orbit has been altered by the gravitational perturbations from Jupiter so that the dust left behind in the comet's path will now cross the orbit of Earth. The dust has a chance of appearing in the night sky of May 23-24 as a new meteor shower appearing to radiate from the constellation Camelopardalis.

This visualization opens with an overview of the comet orbit, which lies between the orbit of Jupiter and Earth. The camera then zooms-in to a close-up of the comet orbit intesecting the orbit of the Earth on May 23-24, 2014. Note that the comet itself, which is very small and faint, passes behind the Earth and poses no risk of collision.



Credits

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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


Datasets used in this visualization

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