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Look Out for the 2020 Lyrid Meteor Shower

 

The April Lyrids are a meteor shower lasting from April 16 to April 26 each year.

The radiant of the meteor shower is located in the constellation Lyra, near its brightest star, Vega.

The shower usually peaks on around April 22 and the morning of April 23. Counts typically range from 5 to 20 meteors per hour, averaging around 10.

As a result of light pollution, observers in rural areas will see more than observers in a city. Nights without a moon in the sky will reveal the most meteors.

April Lyrid meteors are usually around magnitude +2. However, some meteors can be brighter, known as “Lyrid fireballs“, cast shadows for a split second and leave behind smokey debris trails that last minutes.

The source of the meteor shower is particles of dust shed by the long-period Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher.

The April Lyrids are the strongest annual shower of meteors from debris of a long-period comet, mainly because as far as other intermediate long-period comets go (200–10,000 years), this one has a relatively short orbital period of about 415 years.

The Lyrids have been observed and reported since 687 BC; no other modern shower has been recorded as far back in time.

There will be little to no moon to spoil the show in 2020.

We expect the shower to pick up beginning late at night on Sunday, April 19, 2020, probably peaking in the predawn hours on Wednesday, April 22. And possibly the follow morning April 23

 

 

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