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Posts Tagged ‘Lyrid meteor shower’

04/20/2017 – Ephemeris – The Lyrid meteors are reaching their peak now

April 20, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, April 20th.  The Sun rises at 6:49.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 8:33.  The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 4:20 tomorrow morning.

We are in a period where the Lyrid meteors appear.  This capricious shower peaks at various times and with a variety of peak numbers from 14 to 90 per hour.  The expected peak will be April 22nd at 8 a.m.   The radiant point, from where the meteors seem to come, lies between the constellation Lyra and its bright star Vega and Hercules to the west of it.  The radiant point starts the evening low in the northeast and moves nearly overhead when the Moon finally rises.  The meteors, sometimes called falling stars will appear all over the sky, but can be traced back to that radiant point.  The best time to see these or any meteor shower is when the radiant point is highest in the sky.  That will be Saturday morning.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Lyrid  Radiant.

Location of the Lyrid meteor radiant at midnight. Note that the radiant point is a spot that the meteors can be back tracked to. The meteors will appear all over the sky. If they appear near the radiant they will appear to move the slowest, since their actual motion is mostly toward the observer. Created using Stellarium.

The display of meteor shower radiants is a plug-in in the latest versions of Stellarium.

04/20/2015 – Ephemeris – The Lyrid meteor shower will reach peak Wednesday evening

April 20, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 20th.  The Sun rises at 6:50.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 8:33.   The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 10:57 this evening.

This week the Lyrid meteor shower will reach its peak.  The expected peak will be Wednesday the 22nd at 8 p.m. (24 hr UT). Unfortunately the radiant point will not have risen by then.  The radiant, near the star Vega in the constellation of Lyra will rise in the northeast by 10 p.m.  It will approach the zenith by 6 a.m. as morning twilight brightens.  The normal peak hourly rate is about 18 when the radiant is at the zenith,  This year it could be as many as 90 per hour.  However Europe and Asia will be prime locations to view the shower near the  zenith at peak.  The shower is caused by the debris of Comet Thatcher, seen only once in 1861.  When comets approach the Sun they shed gas, dust and small bits of rock.  When the Earth passes through it we get a meteor shower.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Lyrid meteor radiant.

Lyrid meteor radiant is near Lyra and the bright star Vega. Th bright star by “Lyr” is Vega. Create by Bob Moler’s LookingUp program.

04/28/2014 – Ephemeris – The Lyrid meteor shower will reach peak tomorrow

April 21, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 21st.  The sun rises at 6:48.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 46 minutes, setting at 8:34.   The moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 2:52 tomorrow morning.

The second major meteor shower this year will reach its peak tomorrow afternoon (~18h UT).  The best shot to see it will be tonight from about 10 to near 3 a.m. when the moon rises.  The meteor shower is called the Lyrids, because they seem to come from near the constellation Lyra the harp and the bright star Vega.  At 10 p.m. Vega is the brightest star low in the northeastern sky.  By 3 a.m. Vega will be high in the east.  The radiant of the meteors is to the west of Vega between Lyra and the dim constellation of Hercules.  The most meteors will be visible just before the moon begins to brighten the sky before 3 a.m.  Though a major shower the peak hourly rate is expected to be 18 meteors an hour.  However we won’t quite get close to that rate.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Lyrid meteor radiant. The bright star is Vega

Lyrid meteor radiant. The bright star is Vega

The source of my information, the International Meteor Organization calendar can be downloaded from here.

David Dickinson’s post on this year’s Lyrid meteor shower on Universe Today is here.

04/19/2013 – Ephemeris Plus* – Astronomy Day and the Lyrid meteor shower

April 19, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris Plus  for Friday, April 19th.  The sun rises at 6:51.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 41 minutes, setting at 8:32.   The moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 3:51 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow is Astronomy Day 2013.  Astronomy Day is generally held on the Saturday closest to the first quarter moon in late April or early May.  The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will celebrate with a star party at Northwestern Michigan College.  Tomorrow April 20th, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.  There will also be activities inside the observatory, so clear or cloudy there will be something to see or do for all ages.

The Lyrid Meteor Shower will be active this weekend and reach a peak Monday morning.  The meteors from this shower will seem to come from near the constellation of Lyra the harp, a northern summer constellation, with the bright star Vega with a small and narrow parallelogram of stars near it.  We do have a moon problem this year, so it just might be caught by early risers in the next couple of mornings.  It is not a super active shower, and has a peak rate of only 18 and hour when Vega is overhead, which it will be at 5 in the morning.  With the experience of the bright meteor that broke windows in Russia, be comforted to know that meteor showers members are created with very small grains, not big boulders.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

*Ephemeris Plus contains more information in the post’s body that could not fit into the time constraints of the Ephemeris program.

Addendum

Lyrid meteor radiant. The bright star is Vega

Lyrid meteor radiant. The bright star is Vega

04/20/2012 – Ephemeris – The Lyrid meteor shower peaks this weekend.

April 20, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, April 20th.  The sun rises at 6:49.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 45 minutes, setting at 8:34.   The moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 6:41 tomorrow morning.

The Lyrid meteor shower is reaching a peak soon.  With the nearly new moon, the moon will not interfere with the display.  While this a major annual shower, it usually produces only 15 meteors an hour at peak, although in some years as many as 90 an hour have been spotted.   The Lyrids are so named because the seem to come from the direction of the constellation Lyra the harp, one of the more famous summer constellations.  Well, they seen to come from between Lyra and Hercules to the west.  The peak of the shower occurs just after midnight on Sunday morning the 22nd.  The radiant point is up all night.  In the evening the meteors will come from the northeast from near the bright star Vega.  The numbers of meteors will increase through the night until dawn.

* Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Lyrid meteor radiant.  The bright star is Vega

Lyrid meteor radiant. The bright star is Vega