GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 23, 2014) — A newly discovered comet is expected to create a magical display in the sky in the early morning hours on Saturday.
Experts said that because the comet is so new, that at this point all they can do is make predictions without knowing for sure just how large the meteor shower will be.
It’s being called the Camelopardalids. It’s a rare meteor shower in May that could create hundreds of shooting stars per hour.
“There is no concern of any gigantic meteors or asteroids crashing into the Earth. It’s just a whole bunch of lights in the sky,” said Kenneth Cott with the Robert B. Chaffee Planetarium.
Some experts predict the meteor shower could create anywhere from 60 to several hundred shooting starts each hour, between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., with the prime hour being between 2:30 and 3:30 in the morning.
“Meteor showers come when the Earth travels through the trail of a comet, so as the comet comes close to the sun, it heats up. Chunks of rock and ice melt off of it and fall off into space and trail the comet, and when the Earth passes through the trail, you get tons of rock and ice flying into the atmosphere,” said Cott.
The meteor shower is expected to create the display in the North sky. It’s expected to be low on the horizon, which experts said could create large vapor trails through the sky.
“The good thing is you might want to use binoculars. You can see some of them, if they shoot high over head, they have really nice vapor trails behind them, so if you have your binoculars handy, you can look up there, take a look at the vapor trail quickly. It won’t last long,” said Cott.
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