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Lights Off, Blankets Out: Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

Conditions are approaching to be ideal for observation a Lyrid meteor showering on Friday night and Saturday morning.This long-exposure sketch taken on Apr 23, 2015, shows a Lyrid meteors flitting nearby a Milky Way in a transparent night sky nearby Yangon, Myanmar.

Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images


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Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

Conditions are approaching to be ideal for observation a Lyrid meteor showering on Friday night and Saturday morning.This long-exposure sketch taken on Apr 23, 2015, shows a Lyrid meteors flitting nearby a Milky Way in a transparent night sky nearby Yangon, Myanmar.

Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

Not all of April’s showers are slimy and flower-inducing. Late Apr is also a deteriorate of a Lyrids, a second of a year’s determined meteor showers. So get thee to a rooftops and far-reaching open fields: The showering peaks tonight.

The Lyrid meteors are pieces of a comet Thatcher, detected and final seen in 1861, a many new year it reached perihelion, a indicate in a circuit closest to a sun. (Thatcher takes 415.5 years to circuit a sun; it is approaching to lapse in 2276.)

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Every Apr those space bits strike Earth’s atmosphere during 109,600 miles per hour, “vaporizing from attrition with a atmosphere and withdrawal behind a streaks of light we call meteors,” Astronomy Magazine explains.

Meteor showers are named after a constellation coinciding with a area in a sky from that a meteors seem to emanate. Lyrids are so named since they seem to come from a indicate in a constellation Lyra.

The Lyrids are as many a partial of Apr as Tax Day, though their prominence is variable. According to Sky and Telescope, this could be a ensign year for spotting a meteors, with conditions Friday night tighten to ideal:

“If transparent sky prevails Saturday morning (April 22nd), we competence design to see between 10–20 meteors per hour underneath dark, moonless skies.

“The eager is located in eastern Hercules nearby a limit with Lyra, good adult in a eastern sky by internal midnight. Best observation should start between between 2 a.m. and emergence Saturday when Hercules rides high in a south. Expect small lunar division — a loss crescent won’t arise until shortly before a start of morning twilight.”

Space.com also predicts conditions will be “good-to-excellent” for North American skywatchers, as “25-day-old loss crescent moon will not arise until after 4 a.m. internal time on Apr 22, so assuring dim skies many of a night.”

Lyrids aren’t generally as countless as some other annual meteor showers, though they tend to be splendid and fast. So arise early or stay adult late, astronomical searchers, and take NASA’s station advice: “Simply find a dark, open sky divided from synthetic lights. Lie down absolutely on a sweeping or grass chair, and demeanour true up.”