Tags: lyrid | meteor | shower | shooting | stars

Lyrid Meteor Shower Promises Shooting Stars on Wednesday

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 05:46 AM

The Lyrid meteor shower will give sky watchers a light show over the next two nights as debris from the Comet Thatcher streak into the sky.

The annual meteor shower seen from Earth for more than 2,500 years runs from about April 16-26 annually, but the best time to see it is in areas where there is not a lot of artificial light, according to USA Today.



"This will be a good year for the Lyrids because the moon will be a slender waxing crescent and will not get in the way of seeing these meteors," noted the observatory community website Slooh.com.

"Although the timing this year may favor observers in Europe, the Lyrids are visible for observers in most parts of the world. … Meteors from the Lyrids appear to trace their paths back to a radiant about 10º southwest of bright blue-white Vega, a star which northern stargazers can see rising in the northeast by 10 p.m. in mid- April," the website added.

Astronomers told the Washington Post that stargazers can see up to 20 shooting stars an hour, but the event will not produce heavy meteor showers.

"The Lyrids appear to emanate from the constellation Lyra (the harp) which rises now around 9 p.m. in the northeast sky," wrote Blaine Friedlander of the Washington Post. "But you need not stare there, the light meteor shower will be all over the sky. As we've recently enjoyed a new moon April 18, the waxing crescent moon will be about 21 percent illuminated on Wednesday evening."

"See the young moon loitering mid-evening among the constellations Orion, Taurus and under the dangling feet of the Gemini twins," wrote Friedlander. "It sets mere minutes after midnight Thursday – that is 12:05 a.m. — according to the U.S. Naval Observatory. The lack of a moon provides sky gazers the perfect dark heavens for meteor watching. Just keep looking up."

The Lyrid meteor shower comes from pieces of dust and ice left over from the long-period Comet Thatcher, which returns to Earth every 415 years. Astronomers said that in 1803, the Lyrids produced some 700 meteors per hour at its peak, according to Slooh.com.


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The Lyrid meteor shower will give sky watchers a light show over the next two nights as debris from the Comet Thatcher streak into the sky.
lyrid, meteor, shower, shooting, stars
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2015-46-22
Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 05:46 AM
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