Lyrid meteor shower to peak over the weekend

Lyrid meteor shower to peak over the weekend

Lyrid meteor shower to peak over the weekend

As Earth passes through the river of rocky fragments left behind by the comet, some of the debris burns up in its atmosphere. Hence, people can clearly see the meteors during their peak time.

As Accuweather explains, the radiant point in the sky is an area from which the meteors are coming from during the shower.

That drought will come to an end this weekend for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere, with the appearance of one of the oldest known meteor showers.

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All night long, while the moon will be unobtrusive, being in the increasing moon period, a meteor shower of the Lyrids will make the sky twinkle, as every year on the same date.

Vega will appear to rise from the northeast around 9 p.m. local daylight time, but by 4 a.m., it will have climbed to a point in the sky almost overhead. The comet that the debris falls from is known to take 415.5 years to go around the sun, and the meteor shower it causes is the first recorded one in history, mentions going as far back as 687 BC.

For enthusiastic meteor watchers, it has been a long stretch - almost 16 weeks- since there has been a decent opportunity to catch sight of a reasonably good meteor shower. Before sunrise, you have to locate the star Vega, which the brightest of the constellation of Lyra (which gave the Lyrids name).

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The Lyrids aren't as spectacular as the Perseids, which return each August.

Up to 20 meteors per hour will likely be visible overnight on 21 to 22 April, Xinhua news agency reported on 18 April citing NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Special equipment like telescopes and binoculars are not necessary to view the Lyrid meteor shower, which is safe to view with naked eyes. National Weather Service has forecasted clear skies for almost the western half of the U.S and the immediate Eastern Seaboard.

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The waxing moon should set before the meteors appear, making for ideal viewing - though meteor showers are notoriously fickle. You can see a map of light pollution here and more info on the Lyrids here.

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