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Annual meteor shower is set to beam across the night sky


An annual meteor shower is set to hit its peak in the night sky on May 5 and 6. Officials said the meteors will be visible starting around 2 a.m. and will best be seen right before dawn.

Meteors come from remnants of leftover comet particles. When comets go around the sun, they leave a debris trail behind them. When Earth passes through that trail, the particles pass through the atmosphere. This weekend’s shower is debris from Halley’s comet.

Dr. Pamela Clark is the Director of the Star Theater at MSU. She said these meteors - Eta Aquarids - are one of the brighter sets of falling stars.

“The reason they’re Eta Aquarids is because the radiant point, that’s the point where they appear to come from, you see the streaks kind of start across the sky is in the constellation Aquarius. The constellation Aquarius is of course one of the signs of the zodiac, associated with the January/February,” said Clark.

Clark added the meteors will look like bright streaks across the sky without really any color.

“Unless you get a bigger chunk which comes into the atmosphere, and then you can see color sometimes. If it’s a really large chunk. Most of the time you’ll just see what are called falling stars,” said Clark.

Officials with NASA said the best way to catch a glimpse of the meteors is to stay patient. Find an area away from streetlights and lay flat on the ground. Eyes will adjust to the night sky after 30 minutes and meteors will start becoming visible.