lyrid

A special date to mark in your calendars. There will be a spectacular meteor shower on April 23rd. It is called the Lyrid meteor shower because it is located in the constellation Lyra, near this constellation’s brightest star, Alpha Lyra. It will be a dazzling display of up to 100 shooting stars an hour. A magical night for sky watching.

Here’s How To Get Ready To See a Meteor Shower This Weekend

It’s been observed annually for over 2,500 years, with some years more spectacular than others. Each year, the April sky brightens around 21/22nd of the month with light from the Lyrid meteor shower and, of all the showers, this one is perhaps one of the most unreliable.

This year, the shower peaks around 3 a.m. (GMT) on April 22 and as a bonus, the moon is well out of the way so the sky will be nice and dark, granting us ideal meteor spotting conditions.

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Milky Way Panorama
– “Light”

A vertical 4-photo panoramic showing the milky way rising over the Rincon Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. Photo was taken from Windy Point Vista which is 6,600 feet high on Mt. Lemmon.
- Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark II
- Shutter Speed 20 sec

By the way, I was totally there on that mountain when he took that photo and got to meet him too. I was just relaxing, watching the Lyrid Meteor shower, definitely a good time.

Meteor in the Milky Way

Earth’s April showers include the Lyrid Meteor Shower, observed for more than 2,000 years when the planet makes its annual passage through the dust stream of long-period Comet Thatcher. A grain of that comet’s dust, moving 48 kilometers per second at an altitude of 100 kilometers or so, is swept up in this night sky view from the early hours of April 21. Flashing toward the southeastern horizon, the meteor’s brilliant streak crosses the central region of the rising Milky Way. Its trail points back toward the shower’s radiant in the constellation Lyra, high in the northern springtime sky and off the top of the frame. The yellowish hue of giant star Antares shines to the right of the Milky Way’s bulge. Higher still is bright planet Saturn, near the right edge. Seen from Istra, Croatia, the Lyrid meteor’s greenish glow reflects in the waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Image Credit & Copyright: Marko Korosec

On April 21st 2012, the Lyrid meteor shower peaked in the skies over Earth. While many photographers and astronomy enthusiasts were excitedly positioning their cameras and telescopes up towards the night sky, one man, from a different vantage point, was pointing his camera down…

Astronaut Dom Pettit, captured this beautiful image from the International Space Station. In the photo you can clearly see a distinctive meteor burning up in our planet’s atmosphere. Bill Cooke, a NASA astronomer, then mapped the meteor to the star field in this image and confirmed that the meteor originated from the Lyrid radiant.

The image is a six second exposure and has been rotated so that North is roughly at the top of the photo. The lights of Florida are clearly visible to the right of the meteor. Cuba, the Florida Keys and the eastern Gulf Coast shoreline are also visible. Some brilliant flashes of lightning are also prevalent in the image, as well as the beautiful glow of Earth. Wow.

-Jean

Image credit: NASA/JSC/D. Pettit


Lyrid Meteor Shower to Grace Dark April Skies !!

“Skywatchers are in for a treat in late April: An annual meteor shower will peak when the moon’s absence leaves the night sky dark and great for viewing.

The Lyrid meteor shower peaks overnight from April 21 to April 22, with the best observing coming between midnight and dawn on the 22nd local time, experts say. The moon will be new at this time, so the Lyrids’ bright flashes won’t be drowned out by the glare of Earth’s nearest neighbor.

The Lyrids will be visible all over the world. NASA officials estimate a maximum meteor rate of about 15 per hour, but the number could be higher or lower than this. The Lyrids are quite unpredictable, with maximum rates ranging from 10 to 100 meteors per hour over the years.

Meteor showers are generated when Earth plows through streams of debris shed by periodic comets on their path around the sun. The chunks of debris die a fiery death in our planet’s atmosphere, leaving bright streaks in the sky to commemorate their passing. 

The debris trails that spawn the Lyrids were sloughed by a comet known as C/1861 G1 Thatcher. The Lyrids, so named because they appear to originate from the constellation Lyra (The Lyre), have been observed in the night sky during mid-April for at least 2,500 years, NASA scientists say.

In case cloudy skies hinder your viewing opportunities on the night of April 21 — or if you just want to augment your skywatching experience — NASA will host a live chat with meteor experts from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. EDT (0400 to 0900 GMT).

Meteor experts Bill Cooke, Danielle Moser and Rhiannon Blaauw, all of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will stay up late to answer your questions, and a live feed from NASA meteor cameras will show the Lyrid shower as it happens. To participate in the chat and watch the streaming video, go to this site at the appropriate time:http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/lyrids2012_chat.html

About the Picture : Astronomers Mark and Denise Gibbons watch as meteors from the Perseid meteor shower streak through the sky at 2.00am over Stroud, Gloucestershire.”

Source: Milky way scientists
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The Lyrid meteor shower happens every year in mid-late April and this year is expected to start on about April 16, with a peak in a few days near April 21-22. This video from a few years ago captures a Lyrid meteor as it streaked through the skies over Wisconsin.

“Eight Lyrids”

I caught eight Lyrid Meteors last night (early morning April 22) from 3:00am to 4:50am. The moon light wasn’t helping, as my settings were ok at 2:30am when I started, but as the moon set, the sky got darker and the stars were harder to see. (that doesn’t make much sense to me, but that’s how it is looking at the photos) So the meteors that I caught later on are not as bright and they seem more red when I added them with the lighten layer blending mode. I might give it another try tonight, the only problem is that I have to work tomorrow, so I’ll have to set up earlier than last night.