Home Science Space Up next in 2014: April's Lyrid meteor shower
Sky map of Lyrid meteor shower Sky map of Lyrid meteor shower Astrobob: http://astrobob.areavoices.com/2012/04/20/lyrid-meteor-shower-will-make-you-think-big/
The Lyrid meteor shower is expected to last from about April 16th to the 25th, with a peak number on the morning of April 22.
During the peak hours on April 22, 2014, it will probably be best to view these Lyrid meteors from midnight to dawn.
With its radiant (apparent point of origin) near the bright star Vega in the constellation Lyra (the Harp), the Lyrids will be seen coming out of the eastern-northeastern sky at about 10 p.m. your local time, from about April 16th to the 25th.
Historically, the Lyrid meteor shower is among the oldest meteor showers on record. They have been regularly observed for over 2,700 years.
In fact, the ancient Chinese recorded seeing the Lyrids “falling like rain” in the year 687 B.C.
Even though a last-quarter Moon will rise above the horizon in the middle of the night, these Lyrid meteors are bright enough so that observers should still be able to see quite a show.
The origin of the Lyrids is the comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1), a long-period comet that was discovered by A. E. Thatcher on April 5, 1861.. It is called a long-period comet because it has a 415-year orbit around the Sun.
However, because the Moon will be seen with the Lyrids in 2014, the number of meteors seen per hour will be diminished over a moonless sky. 
At its peak, observers are often able to see from 10 to 20 meteors per hour. As with all meteor showers, the accuracy of these numbers are questionable at best due to the erratic nature of these showers. In some years, nearly 100 meteors per hour have been observed. You just never know.
Page two continues with more on the 2014 Lyrid meteor shower.


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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