Astronomy lovers are getting ready to enjoy a spectacular sky show next week with the arrival of the first meteor shower of 2023.
The Lyrid meteor shower is expected to peak on April 21st. This celestial phenomenon is known for fast moving meteors without fixed trajectories and occasional bright meteors known as fireballs.
Every year, from 14 to 30 April, the Earth witnesses a celestial display of debris left by Comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1).
Pieces of the icy body crash into the atmosphere at a speed of about 50 km / s, after which they break up into bright stars.
The Lyrid meteor shower is the oldest known meteor shower, first recorded over 2,700 years ago by Chinese astronomers.
Meteors come from the constellation Lyra, from which the streams are called Lyrids.
While falling meteors can be seen anywhere on Earth, the northern hemisphere has the best view of the sky show, especially in areas far from city lights.
This year, the flows will be active from April 15 to April 29, with a peak on the night of April 21. On that day, about 18 meteors per hour will be visible to the naked eye, moving at about 47 kilometers per second (29 miles per second).
NASA explained on its website, “Hilders don’t typically leave a long glowing tail of dust behind them as they pass through Earth’s atmosphere, but they can produce a bright flash called a fireball from time to time.”
One easy way to spot the Lyrid meteor shower is to look for a star called Vega, which is one of the brightest stars in the night sky and can be found even in heavily polluted areas.
Astronomers advise looking for a spot away from city lights or street lights to see as much of the sky show as possible.
“After about 30 minutes of being in the dark,” says NASA, “your eyes will adjust and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient – the show will run until dawn so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse of the meteors.”
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