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Try Your Luck Watching The Lyrid Meteor Shower Tonight

A Lyrid meteor Photo: Islam Hassan (Flickr) The Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight, but actually spotting a meteor could be tough going for lots of observers. watchers can expect around 1 8 meteors per hour at the show's peak. But the bright moon, waning two days after the full moon, could wash out some of these "shooting stars." Seeing meteors tonight will work and a good amount of luck. The Lyrid meteor shower originates from the comet Thatcher C / 1861 G1, which orbits the Sun every 415 years – it last passed Earth in 1861. But in its wake, the comet left a cloud of dust. When Earth enters the cloud, dust particles enter the atmosphere create bright streaks. The meteor shower's name, the Lyrids, comes from the constellation Lyra from which the meteors once seemed to originate. Now that constellations have standard boundaries, the shower's radiant (the location in the sky from which the meteors appear to arrive) is actually in the constellation Hercules. Not nearly as flashy as other showers like the Perseids and the Geminids, the Lyrids are the first recorded meteor shower, Sky and Telescope reported last year, with Chinese astronomers documenting the spectacle in 687 BC. The shower occasionally flare to 100 meteors per hour, though the next big burst probably will happen for another two decades. Nor will the shower be easy this year. The moon will rise shortly after the meteor shower, the radiant, Space.com reports, and the bright moon will wash…

A Lyrid meteor Photo: Islam Hassan (Flickr)

The Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight, but actually spotting a meteor could be tough going for lots of observers. watchers can expect around 1

8 meteors per hour at the show’s peak. But the bright moon, waning two days after the full moon, could wash out some of these “shooting stars.” Seeing meteors tonight will work and a good amount of luck.

The Lyrid meteor shower originates from the comet Thatcher C / 1861 G1, which orbits the Sun every 415 years – it last passed Earth in 1861. But in its wake, the comet left a cloud of dust. When Earth enters the cloud, dust particles enter the atmosphere create bright streaks. The meteor shower’s name, the Lyrids, comes from the constellation Lyra from which the meteors once seemed to originate. Now that constellations have standard boundaries, the shower’s radiant (the location in the sky from which the meteors appear to arrive) is actually in the constellation Hercules.

Not nearly as flashy as other showers like the Perseids and the Geminids, the Lyrids are the first recorded meteor shower, Sky and Telescope reported last year, with Chinese astronomers documenting the spectacle in 687 BC. The shower occasionally flare to 100 meteors per hour, though the next big burst probably will happen for another two decades.

Nor will the shower be easy this year. The moon will rise shortly after the meteor shower, the radiant, Space.com reports, and the bright moon will wash out some of the meteors. But the shower is important to some skywatchers as it is the first of a string of near-monthly meteor showers, leading up to the Perseids in August.

find the darkest spot you can, and expect it to take 20 to 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Happy skywatching! I hope you see a meteor or two.


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Faela