Stargazers around the world will get to witness the event of a lifetime next week when the debris tail of Comet 209P/LINEAR unleashes a myriad of cosmic explosions to lighten up the sky next week, Daily Digest News reported.
A meteor shower happens when the Earth passes through debris left in space by a comet; the chunks of rock, ice and other materials, burn up in the atmosphere to form "shooting" or "falling stars."
Visible on the morning of May 24, for the first time ever, the Earth will cross through the debris field left by Comet 209P/LINEAR.
"The meteor shower, known as Camelopardalids, has its genesis from Comet 209P/LINEAR, a dim, nearly imperceptible comet that orbits the sun every five years," Daily Digest News reported.
The Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research project, a partnership of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, NASA and the U.S. Air Force discovered the comet in 2004.
The point, known as radiant, is where meteor showers are named for the constellation from which the meteors seem to radiate. The radiant for the coming meteor shower is shaped like a giraffe.
"Astronomers said the meteor showers such as Leonids and Perseids have been happening for hundreds of years, but Camelopardalids would be happening for the first time," Gulf News reported. "The chunks of rock and material, left by comet 209P/Linear will burn up in the atmosphere to form shooting or falling stars."
"Camelopardalids is a circumpolar constellation, which means that, rather than moving from east to west across the night sky, it rotates around the North Star, Polaris, so the constellation is visible all night long throughout the northern hemisphere," Daily Digest News reported.
Big Dipper and Little Dipper, two of the most recognizable constellations to the layman astronomer, are located close to Camelopardalids.
Peak time for Camelopardalids will be from 2-4 AM on 24 May 2014, but astronomers expect the meteor shower to be visible as early as 23 May, due to the new moon immersing the night sky in darkness.