Monday, April 13, 2015

Second Chance To See Lyrid Meteor ShowerTonight


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- Don't worry if you missed last night's peak of the Lyrid Meteor shower because there will be a second chance to watch the meteor shower tonight. That's because the Lyrid meteor shower annually appears from April 16 through April 26.  So it's possible to spot Lyrids every night from tonight through Saturday

Lyrids are pieces of debris from the periodic Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher that have been observed for more than 2,600 years.  In mid-April of each year, Earth runs into the stream of cosmic debris from the comet which causes the Lyrid meteor shower.

“The Lyrids are really unpredictable," Cooke said lead astronomer of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "For the 2015 shower, I'm expecting 15 to 20 Lyrid meteors an hour. Peak rates should occur after 10:30 PM on April 22 your local time, for observers in the northern hemisphere. For observers in the southern hemisphere, Lyrid rates are not significant until after midnight your local time."






When to watch tonight's meteor shower

Lyrids are best seen around 4 a.m. your local time in the northern hemisphere.  Tonight, the Moon is in a crescent phase and will set near mid-night. This dark near-moonless sky will provide excellent conditions for viewing tonight's meteor shower.

Where to watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower

The Lyrid meteor shower will be viewable all over the world, with best rates seen just before midnight local time at the location where you're watching the skies.  The number of Lyrids are very unpredictable, with peak meteor rates between 10-100 per hour.   Cloudless skies and far away from city lights are ideal for watching meteor showers.  

Where to look for watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower

Look straight up.  You can tell if a meteor belongs to a particular shower by tracing back its path to see if it originates near a specific point in the sky, called the radiant. The constellation in which the radiant is located gives the shower its name, and in this case, Lyrids appear to come from a point in the constellation Lyra.


Watch tonight's meteor shower live online

If your location experiences cloudy skies, NASA will have this live feed online tonight to watch the meteor shower:



Image and video credit: NASA