EARTH is approaching the debris stream left from Halley’s Comet, meaning we are set to be treated to a dazzling display of meteor showers.
Each year, Earth passes through the stream of falling specks of ice, disintegrating from Halley’s comet.
The shower will be most visible between May 4 and May 6, when up to 40 meteors an hour will be visible.
The meteor shower is the debris of Halley’s Comet which will not get close to our planet until 2062.
Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said: “This is a good year for eta Aquarid meteors.
NASA describes comets as “cosmic snowballs of frozen gas, rock and dust” and Halley’s Comet is no exception to this.
Unlike asteroids, which are typically just hard rock and metals, comets are built from more volatile materials that ionise in the Sun’s heat and leave a glowing trail behind them.
Halley’s Comet is believed to have been first observed some 2,200 years ago but it was not until astronomer Edmond Halley in 1705 that the comet was officially recognised.
The astronomer was the first scientist to correctly predict Halley’s return in 1758 and Halley was honoured by having the comet named after him.
But the comet has been sighted by different civilisations “for millennia” and was even spotted during the Battle of Hastings!