To all stargazers, amateur astronomers, meteor enthusiasts, avid wishers and dreamers: The Lyrid Meteor Shower will peak this Wednesday night.
According Expert Expeditions, if you are lucky enough, you might be able to witness 10-20 meteors per hour. The annual Lyrid meteor shower is active each year and such meteor showers happen when Earth passes through the debris left behind by periodic comets, such as Comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1), as they orbit the sun.
In 2015, the peak of this shower – which tends to come in a burst and usually lasts for less than a day. They will fall on the mornings of April 22 or 23, with the nod going to the later date. The greatest number of meteors should fall during the few hours before dawn on either date.
This could be an exciting experience. Typically, Lyrids produce a gratifying number of fireballs, which is surprising since their moderate speeds of 30 miles per second is only about 75% that of the August Perseids or November Leonids,” said Slooh astronomer Bob Berman.
This year the moon will be a waxing crescent only 1/15th the brightness of a full moon and it will set early, allowing excellent dark sky conditions for this shower,” saidBerman.
The Slooh Community Obsevatory will be broadcasting the upcoming Lyrid Meteor Shower this Wednesday evening with new low-light equipment installed at their Canary Islands Observatory. Observers in the Northern Hemisphere are well located to view the Lyrids. Those in mid Southern Hemisphere latitudes will be able to view the shower between midnight and dawn. The live broadcast will begin at 5:00 PM PDT / 8:00 PM EDT / 00:00 UTC (8/22).
The Lyrid meteor shower is considered to be one of the oldest meteor showers. Records show that Chinese astronomers observed the Lyrids in 687 BC, noting in the historical Chinese document “The Chronicle of Zuo” that “at midnight, stars fell down like rain“.