The annual Lyrid meteor bathe formally began Thursday and can keep energetic for about 10 days, with the height viewing window late Tuesday into Wednesday morning, based on the Griffith Observatory. You possibly can catch the present beginning at 10 p.m., however this bathe’s good for early risers, because the hour or two earlier than daybreak might be one of the best time to identify the “taking pictures stars.”
The Lyrids are bits of rock and dirt left behind by the comet C/1861 G (Thatcher). Every year round this time, the Earth drifts by a cloud of particles from an earlier go to by the comet — its most up-to-date journey by the interior photo voltaic system was in 1861 — and people particles collide with our higher ambiance at a velocity of about 27 miles (43 kilometers) per second.
If you could find a darkish sky in the course of the peak night time with minimal mild air pollution, cloud cowl and a transparent view, you possibly can count on as much as 18 meteors per hour. And with the brand new moon set for Wednesday, there will not be any moonlight to clean out the meteor-spotting expertise.
The Lyrids aren’t essentially probably the most spectacular meteor bathe of the 12 months, however they do come after a whole season with none main showers between January and April. So it is an incredible alternative to get exterior and simply spend a while wanting up, particularly with most of us spending a lot of time indoors throughout these unprecedented occasions.
“In comparison with different meteor showers, the Lyrids have a tendency to supply vivid meteors and an occasional fireball,” writes Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society.
It is best to be capable of see the Lyrids by simply mendacity again, letting your eyes alter to the darkish and enjoyable with the widest view of the sky attainable. However if you happen to can establish the constellation Lyra, the harp, the Lyrids seem to radiate out from this level within the sky, so it is price ensuring it is in your discipline of view.
If you cannot get up earlier than dawn, it will possibly nonetheless be price searching for meteors at any time after about 10 p.m. native time within the night. They’re much less prone to seem greater within the sky and possibly fewer might be viewable, however you do have an elevated probability of seeing a so-called “Earth-grazer” close to the horizon that burns longer and brighter than your common meteor.
I recommend making the trouble to get out and see a few of these meteors when you possibly can. We are able to all use a distraction proper now and this could possibly be one of the best meteor-spotting alternative till November. The large Perseids meteor bathe in August is usually the largest of the 12 months, however in 2020 will probably be partly washed out by the moon.
In case you catch any fireballs, please share the footage with me @EricCMack.