Know before you go: The Lyrid meteor shower

Apr 21, 2018, 00:20
Know before you go: The Lyrid meteor shower

NASA says the moon will temporarily bring some light pollution to the sky, but once it sets, there will be excellent dark sky conditions for viewers. Aside from the Jupiter triangle, this weekend, stargazers are going to be able to enjoy the sighting of one of the oldest meteor showers recorded.

Even the Earth spans Comet Thatcher's route annually about April, causing a "shower" of meteors to collapse from the heavens since it collides "having a trail of comet crumbs", the space website explains.

"The Lyrid meteor shower will be the first significant meteor shower in a few months", AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said.

In late April, skywatchers in the northern hemisphere will soon secure a opinion of the Lyrid meteor shower of 2018. You can also tell if a meteor belongs to any particular shower by tracing back its path in order to see if it originates near a given point in the sky, called the radiant.

However, meteors will be visible streaking across all areas of the sky, not just to the east-northeast. Before sunrise, you have to locate the star Vega, which the brightest of the constellation of Lyra (which gave the Lyrids name). Hence, people can clearly see the meteors during their peak time. In prior years, the shower has intensified, producing up to 100 meteors per hour in what's known as an outburst, but according to astronomers, it is hard to predict when that happens.

The meteor showers have begun and will last until April 25.

It follows that the best views are reserved for those dedicated souls prepared to observe in the small hours between moonset and the first light of dawn around 4am BST in the United Kingdom when the radiant of the Lyrids is high in the southeast. This comet tail releases meteoroids that enter into the earth at high-speed and burn up in the atmosphere thus creating an aurora in the night sky.

"The Lyrids are known for their fast and bright meteors, though not as fast or as plentiful as the famous Perseids in August, Lyrids can surprise watchers with as many as 100 meteors seen per hour", the US space agency reports.

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