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OUT OF MIND » PLANET AWARENESS » ATMOSPHERIC CHANGES » Lyrid Meteor Shower 2020 - Shooting Stars in Spectacular Display - Must-See

Lyrid Meteor Shower 2020 - Shooting Stars in Spectacular Display - Must-See

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PurpleSkyz

PurpleSkyz
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Lyrid Meteor Shower 2020 - Shooting Stars in Spectacular Display - Must-See Giphy

In late April, sky-watchers worldwide will get a view of the Lyrid meteor shower, the dusty trail of a comet with a centuries-long orbit around the Sun. The Lyrid meteors streak across the sky between April 16 and April 25. The best day to see Lyrid meteors will be early in the morning on Wednesday April 22, according to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke. As with the most meteor showers, the peak viewing time will be before dawn. The radiant - the point from which meteors appear to originate - will be high in the evening sky in the constellation Lyra to the northeast of Vega one of the brightest stars visible in the night sky this time of the year. Don't look directly toward the radiant, though, because you might miss the meteors with the longest tails. About 15 to 20 meteors per hour can be expected around the shower’s peak, in a dark sky. The Lyrids are one of the oldest recorded showers, with observations going back to 687 B.C. Some years, the Lyrid meteor shower intensifies and can produce up to 100 meteors per hour in what's called an "outburst" but it is difficult to predict exactly when that will happen. Meteor showers occur when the Earth crosses the path of a comet, colliding with a trail of comet debris. As they burn up in the atmosphere, the meteors leave bright streaks in the sky commonly reffered to as "shooting stars." Lyrid meteors are little pieces of Comet Thatcher, a long-period comet that orbits the Sun about once every 415 years. Pieces of debris left in the comet's wake, however, make an appearance every year. Comet Thatcher's most recent perihelion, or closest approach to the Sun, was in 1861. It won't be back until the year 2276. Sky-watchers will have a chance to see Lyrid meteors streak across the sky between April 16 and April 25. You don't need any kind of special equipment to see the meteors, just look up at the dark sky, be patient and enjoy the show. Stay Safe and Happy Skywatching!



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