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Meteoroid trail between fragments of Comet 73P

The Lyrids meteor shower, which takes place every year between April 16 to April 26, will hit its peak this week. It peaks April 21 and April 22, but meteors will be visible until about April 26.

Although the Lyrids meteor shower typically isn’t the biggest of the annual meteor showers, this year’s takes place along side a new moon, meaning the sky will be darker and meteors will be brighter. Meteors are expected to be seen at a rate of about 10-20 meteors per hour.

The Lyrids meteor shower was the first meteor shower in recorded history. On May 22, 687 B.C. the shower was first recorded Zuo Zhuan, China. The description went something like this: “On day xīn-mǎo of month 4 in the summer (of year 7 of King Zhuang of Lu), at night, fixed stars are invisible, at midnight, stars dropped down like rain.”

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If you want to try to catch a few meteors, just head outside after 2am and look to the east.

Click the image below to enlarge…

lyrid-meteor-shower-2009

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