SA to witness meteor shower

SA Astronomical Observatory says SA should keep its eyes peeled for a meteor shower.

A Southern African night sky. Picture: Gerry van der Walt/Wild-Eye

CAPE TOWN - The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) on Wednesday urged people to keep their eyes glued to the skies over the next few days for a meteor shower.

When meteors enter earth's atmosphere they vaporise as they come into contact with air, causing bright streaks.

Experts said it's possible to spot a meteor every minute provided that it was pitch dark.

Astronomer Nicola Loring said, "You'll see shooting stars or streaks of light and gradually the number will increase up until the peak time, which is 5 May, and then the numbers will decrease again. You'll see them on either side of that peak."

Loring said sky gazers in the southern hemisphere will be able to spot many more meteor showers than those in the northern hemisphere.

"It's best to view them in the morning between 4:30am and 5am. They'll appear to be coming from the constellation of Aquarius, which is due east on 5 May."