Local News

Celestial debris scattered by a comet more than a century ago is expected to produce an impressive meteor shower this weekend for the Louisville area. 

University of Louisville Professor of Atmospheric Physics Dr. Tim Dowling says the Earth will pass through a debris field from Comet 209P/LINEAR late Friday into Saturday, with the display visible in the northern sky.  

“(The comet)  was only discovered 10 years ago, but interestingly, the debris that it put down that we’re going to go through was put down all through the last century, in fact, during the Civil War,”  he said. 

When’s the best time to watch?

The prime viewing time will be between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Saturday, Dowling says.

“These will be normal shooting stars,” Dowling says. “I think most people have at least seen one or two of those, but what’s exciting is that this is a shower, so we’ll be seeing about three a minute is the prediction.”

He says the shower is best viewed with the naked eye, outside the haze of city lights.

The sky is expected to be mostly clear Friday night into Saturday morning, the National Weather Service said. (You can check back for further weather updates here.)

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.