Home Science Space Peak of Lyrid meteor shower coming April 22, 2013
Lyrid meteor shower looking into the eastern sky Lyrid meteor shower looking into the eastern sky http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/article/lyrid-meteor-shower-under-dark-new-moon-skies,-plus-mars-and-saturn-108982

The Lyrid meteor shower is expected to peak on Monday, April 22, 2013, with some meteors shooting across the night sky at a possible maximum rate of 100 per hour.

Although the Lyrids are known for being unpredictable in the number seen in any given hour, many astronomers are predicting about 10 to 20 per hour, but with a peak at upwards to 100 in an hour on April 22nd. However, these meteors can be seen anytime from April 16 to 26, 2013.

The meteors within the Lyrids are material left behind the cometary tail of periodic Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher when it sheds some of its dust as it regularly visits our inner solar system, and moves around the Sun.

The radiant (origin) for this shower appears within the constellation Lyra, specifically near its brightest star, Alpha Lyraw (Vega). Thus, the meteors are also sometimes called the Alpha Lyrids (or April Lyrids).

The constellation Lyra will be found in the northeastern sky in the late evening on April 22nd.

A full Moon will occur on April 25. Three days before, during the peaking of the Lyrids, the Moon will be in its waxing gibbous phase -- with about 83% of the Moon being illuminated.

During this time, the Moon will be in the sky until the early hours of the mornings.

Thus, a good time to see the Lyrid meteor shower is between the time that the Moon sets in the morning and the dawning of the day. The meteors will appear much brighter without the Moon interfering.

However, any time after midnight should produce good viewing of the Lyrid meteor shower in 2013, which have been seen, and recorded, for over 2,600 years.

Learn more about the Lyrid meteor shower at the website Astronomers Without Borders: “Lyrid Meteor Watch 2013”.

 

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

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