Sky-watchers all across West Michigan are in for a real treat in the early morning hours tomorrow. There's a brand new meteor shower that may light up the night sky. Scientists aren’t sure yet how many shooting stars people may see, but the May Camelopardalids meteor shower could be at a dazzling one-per-minute rate.
Dave DeBruyn, president of the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association, tells WOOD Radio this is the first time Earth will directly cross the dusty trails left behind by a recently discovered comet named Comet 209P/LINEAR.
"The comet came by less than a month ago. We are essentially passing thru the comet's tail. We really aren't sure what we are going to see tonite."
Discovered in 2004, this comet’s path has been slowly altered by Jupiter’s gravity over the last 200 years and the leftover dust will now cross Earth’s path. That’s good news for west Michigan - weather permitting - we will have a front-row seat to see Mother Nature’s celestial display of fireworks. The meteors will appear from the northern constellation Camelopardalis.
"The chance of seeing some really bright meteors is quite high. They may not be intense in numbers, but those we do see could be quite dramatic."
The peak of the shower will be between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.but DeBruyn said sky-watchers will still see meteors for several hours before and after those times. The biggest advice he has for people is to find a dark, safe place to get cozy and watch the stars.