A meteor shower over the weekend didn't quite live up to sky watchers' hopes and expectations, The small number of shooting stars was not the "meteor storm" some had wished for.

The Camelopardalid shower, at its peak in the early morning hours Saturday, did give viewers in North America some meteors to "ooh" and "ahh" over, although it never approached the 200-per-hour level some astronomers had forecast.

They had, admittedly, warned that because it was the first go-around for this shower -- it was the first time the Earth passed through dust trails laid down by a periodic comet known as Comet 209P/LINEAR -- it was impossible to know for sure whether it would be a meteor boom or bust.

The astronomy website Spaceweather.com posted word of a peak of between five to 10 meteors witnessed per hour.

"Although this is a far cry from predictions, it is hardly a surprise," astronomer Tony Phillips wrote on the site. "The parent comet, 209P/LINEAR, is faint and currently produces only a small amount of dust. Most forecasters acknowledged that there might be less dust in Earth's path than the models suggested."

Because astronomers have little experience with the comet -- only discovered in 2004 -- those making prediction of the shower, based only on the dust it has laid down in the past, "went in a little blind," said astronomer Carl W. Hergenrother of the University of Arizona.

We "could have had a spectacular meteor shower," said Hergenrother, who is the secretary of the American Meteor Society, but "we didn't."

Named for the constellation from which it appeared to radiate -- Camelopardalid or The Giraffe -- the shower, such as it was, was visible mostly just in North America.

Several global observatories, including the online Slooh community observatory, tracked the shower over the weekend.

Scientists at NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said they did capture a video of one meteor that shone as bright as the planet Jupiter.

Other annual meteor showers, like the Leonids and the Perseids, have been observed for hundreds of years so their intensity is fairly easy to predict, as compared to the first-time Camelopardalid shower, astronomers admitted.

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