NASA experts say tonight’s Lyrid meteor shower should be quite the sight to behold.
The Lyrid meteor shower comes as Saturn moves into position directly opposite the Sun, with Earth in the middle. When that occurs, Saturn’s rings can be seen from Earth – even with a small telescope. It’s a rare occasion to be sure, and it won’t happen for another five years.
The Lyrid meteor shower will also be in full swing, and it usually unleashes about 10 to 20 meteors every hour but can be unpredictable, with some surges featuring up to 100 meteors per hour.
Lyrid is expected to rise in the northeast around 10 p.m. EDT. However, meteors will be at their most visible after midnight.
“As dawn approaches, look about two-thirds of the way from the horizon toward the zenith in any direction – but don’t get tunnel vision,” says Astronomy.com. “Let your eyes wander, and peripheral vision can pick up meteors you otherwise might not see.”
If you can’t see any meteors from your location, head to “Up All Night With NASA!”
Astronomers will be able to answer questions about the Lyrid meteors from 11:00 p.m. Saturday to 5:00 a.m. Sunday. A live video feed of the Lyrid meteor shower will also be available to anyone who is interested.
For the first time, video taken from a camera attached to a balloon will be streamed by the All Sky Camera Network. Students in California will release the balloon early tonight.
“Typical Lyrids are about as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper,” Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. “And it’s unusual to see one or two fireballs when the shower peaks.”
Learn more in the video below.
- Weekend Lyrid Meteor Shower Visible From Earth (science.slashdot.org)
- Everything you need to know to catch this weekend’s Lyrid meteor shower [Space] (io9.com)
- Lyrid Meteor Shower To Peak This Weekend (inquisitr.com)