Meteor shower to light up WA skies this weekend

by Fredrick Graves April 23, 2017, 2:17
Meteor shower to light up WA skies this weekend

The annual meteor shower will peak the night of April 21 into April 22, with the greatest number of meteors usually falling during the few hours before dawn (in the early hours of of April 22). As no meteor storms are expected this year, viewers will likely see about 18 meteors per hour in a dark sky before dawn.

The biggest free light show could be in the sky Friday night and into Saturday.

The Lyrid shower occurs every April when the Earth passes through the dusty tail of Comet Thatcher.

NASA gives us a look at the major events in the night sky for the month of April, 2017. In mid-April of each year, Earth runs into the stream of cosmic debris from the comet which causes the Lyrid meteor shower and the resulting shooting stars seen from Earth. The moon will be entering its New Moon phase during the peak Lyrid dates. Active from 16-25 April, the peak of the shower is expected around 12h UT on 22 April, which would favour North American observers.

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The International Meteor Organization reports that showers in the Lyrids began Tuesday, and will continue through next Tuesday.

"Although not numerous, Lyrids are bright and fast meteors", PAGASA said. Your eyes can take up to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness, so allow plenty of time for your eyes to dark-adapt.

"Simply find a dark, open sky away from artificial lights". It doesn't show you the glowing streaks in the sky, but its fascinating to watch meteoroids show up as multicoloured peaks in these scrolling, auto-updating 3D radar graphs.

Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you as it can be a waiting game.


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