MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Skywatchers all across North America are in for a real treat this Memorial Day weekend.
There’s a brand new meteor shower that will light up the sky in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 24th.
Scientists aren’t sure yet how many shooting stars we’ll see, but it could be a dazzling 100 to 400 meteors an hour.
This is the first time Earth will directly cross the dusty trail left behind by a newly discovered comet named Comet 209P/LINEAR. Between 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. is the best time to witness the meteor shower, according to NASA.
Discovered in 2004, this comet’s path has been slowly altered by Jupiter’s gravity over the last 200 years and the leftover dust has piled up directly in Earth’s path. That’s good news for us in North America because we will have a front row seat to see Mother Nature’s celestial display of fireworks.
There is no danger to Earth. The particles in this trail are small, most about the size of grains of sand. But when these particles hit the Earth’s atmosphere, they should put on quite a show – streaking across the night sky as they burn up. These grains are especially slow moving, meaning possibly longer flares of light.