Meteor Shower To Light Up Weekend Sky

The best time to view the meteor shower is between midnight and dawn.

Considered to be the oldest known meteor shower, Lyrids are named after the constellation Lyra. The term "Lyrids" too is derived from the Lyra constellation from which they will appear.

Prospects are much better east of the Cascades, where skies are predicated to remain clear Friday night. He described the object as a tailless nebulosity which measured two to three times the diameter of Jupiter and that glowed at about magnitude 7.5.

The prime viewing time for the Lyrids continues tonight and into Sunday morning (April 23), according to NASA.

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Stargazers will be able to see 10 to 20 meteors per hour, according to astronomy sites.

The Moon's light has often interfered meteor viewing by drowning out fainter streaks.

The shower's peak usually lasts just a few hours, but this year the predicted timing is good for North America, especially in the West, according to Sky and Telescope. As debris from Thatcher scatters around its orbit, the bright pieces of the comet can be seen in evening skies, moving at "medium-fast" speeds for several days in April.

The Lyrids will be the strongest meteor shower since the Quadrantids of early January. So all the stellar searchers lay back and take NASA's standing advice: "Simply find a dark, open sky away from artificial lights". This glow is what we call a meteor, and the bigger the meteoroid, the greater the force it exerts, and thus the brighter the meteor glows. The small meteors left behind by the comet fall through the planet's atmosphere, putting on a stunning light show for skywatchers.

  • Regina Walsh