Lyrid meteor shower set to dazzle night sky on Earth Day

April 20th, 2010 - 6:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 20 (ANI): The 40th anniversary celebration of Earth Day could be followed by some ‘natural fireworks,’ courtesy the peak of the annual Lyrid meteor shower arriving on April 22.

“Although the Lyrids have been observed since 687 B.C., the behavior of the shower from year to year is unpredictable,” National Geographic News quoted Anthony Cook, an astronomer for the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, as saying.

“An average Lyrid shower produces between 10 and 20 meteors per hour, but occasionally these rates increase to 90 per hour,” Cook said.

He added: “In 1803 the shower produced about a thousand meteors per hour”-just enough to qualify as a meteor storm.

This year, Lyrid meteor activity began picking up on April 16, and the shower will run until April 25.

The peak of the Lyrid meteor shower will come in the early morning hours of April 22.

“The best time to look will be between the time of moonset [between 1 and 2 a.m., local time] and dawn, and the best way to observe the show is to recline comfortably, facing anywhere from north to east and gazing nearly overhead,” Cook said.

“The best location is a region far from urban light pollution with a fairly open horizon,” he added. (ANI)

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