Sky-watchers are in store for a once-in-a-lifetime meteor storm when the Earth passes through the tail of a comet. Astronomers are predicting that up to 1,000 shooting stars an hour could rain down on Earth hour as our planet passes through debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR this week.
The head of Astronomy Ireland, David Moore, has urged the public to get outside tomorrow night, Friday 23rd May, to try to catch a glimpse of the celestial fireworks that will fly from dusk till dawn.
“Imagine a thousand shooting stars per hour. It could be one every five to 10 seconds. It could be really spectacular,” he said. “Shooting stars are very rare and most people accidentally see one once every few years. If they go out for five to 10 minutes on that particular night they could see more than an astronomer sees in a lifetime. It is a very big event cosmically.”