DETROIT (WWJ) — A dazzling celestial spectacle is set to woo stargazers this weekend.
Earth is expected to pass through the thickest debris left by Halley’s Comet — named the Eta Aquarids. These glowing comet remnants are expected to light up the early morning sky at rates of up to 40 per hour in some areas.
Mike Murray, planetarium manager for Delta College in Bay City, joined WWJ Newsradio 950 live and said the best time to see them will be around dawn on Saturday, but meteors should be visible for a few extra days.
“It will actually last for several mornings,” Murray said. “The maximum is happening about right now, but even for the next few mornings. Just because it’s cloudy, say, tomorrow morning or whatever, keep watching the next few mornings.”
Murray said a cosmic event like this is perfect for casual astronomers.
“You don’t want telescopes or binoculars,” Murray said. “You want to find a place that’s got a big open sky, lean back on a lawn chair, get comfortable, get warm and just take in as much of the sky as you possibly can because the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky — they’ll just seem to be emanating roughly from the east.”
Murray said Venus will also be extremely bright in the sky in the east before dawn of the next few days.
“This is one of those meteor showers that can occur during predictable times during the year and they always occur when you cross the orbit of a comet,” Murray said.