The Lyrid meteor shower peaked early Tuesday morning and is expected to continue throughout the week, with Space.com featuring live webcam video footage of the shooting stars.
The annual cosmic event has been observed for more than 2,600 years, according to NASA.gov
, and occurs when the Earth runs into a stream of debris — called lyrids — from the comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher.
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"This is not one of the top meteor showers of the year like the Perseids and the Geminids. Still, the Lyrids produce around 20 meteors an hour, and they are moderately fast — coming in at 110,000 miles per hour," Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a webcast advisory, according to Space.com
. "That's about 30 miles per second, which is nearly 60 times faster than a rifle bullet."
Experts cautioned, however, that the waning moon might present a problem to viewers.
Here's some advice on how to best see the Lyrid meteor shower:
"The best viewing will be between midnight and dawn, local time to wherever you are," astronomer Bill Cooke said in a NASA statement. "To watch the shower, find a place with dark, clear skies away from city lights. Give your eyes 30-45 minutes to adjust to the dark. Lie on your back and look up (avoid looking at the bright moon), allowing your eyes to take in as much sky as possible. Happy viewing!"
Here's the webcam footage from Monday night and early Tuesday:
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