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The first big meteor shower for months will reach its peak on Earth Day



By Brian Lada AccuWeather meteorologist and writer
18th April 2019, 9:06:20 AM EDT

If you see a shooting star roam the night sky, this may be a nice thing, and stargazers will have the opportunity to catch a few a day Earth during the first big meteor shower for months.

The Lyrids end the long meteor shower drought that began in early January after the peak of the Quadrantids on January 4, 2019.

The meteor shower will rise on Sunday night.

<img src = "https://accuweather.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/8e42e5c/2147483647/resize/590x/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Faccuweather-bsp.s3.amazonaws .com% 2F80% 2F84% 2Fc6ce182948b49ec86e88a349f020% 2Fsunday-night-lyrids.jpeg "alt =" Sunday Night Lyrids

<img src = "https://accuweather.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/8e42e5c/2147483647/resize /590x/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Faccuweather-bsp.s3.amazonaws.com%2F80%2F84%2Fc6ce182948b49ec86e88a349f020%2Fsunday-night-lyrids.jpeg "alt =" 19659009] Cloudy conditions can increase the visibility from the central Rocky Mountains through the central and northern plains to the upper mid west and much of the northeast during Sunday night bother.

Up to 20 meteors an hour adorn the night sky on the summit Night of the Lyrids, which is expected Monday night into the wee hours of Tuesday morning. However, cloudy conditions may affect the viewing conditions for some stargazers.

 Monday Night Lyrids

This year's Lyrid meteor shower may be obscured by clouds in much of the central, central and northeastern United States.

"Monday night visibility is hampered by a central-state storm system, with widespread clouds expected to pass through the central plains," said Dave Samuhel, blogger for AccuWeather Astronomy.

"There will be a storm system that impacts the Ohio Valley into the mid-Atlantic," Samuhel added. "There will be clouds near the system, but it should be mostly clear in both the north and the south."

Clouds are also forecast for the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.

Meanwhile, clear conditions in deep south and southwest stargazers provide near-perfect weather.


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This year the nearly full moon will disturb the visibility, as it almost always pollutes the night sky with natural light. This makes it difficult to see some of the Lyrids' weakening meteors, reducing the total number of visible meteors.

Samuhel has some tips for stargazers to see as many shooting stars as possible despite the moonlight.

"Do not look at the moon. Do everything not to look at the moon and focus on another part of the sky, "said Samuhel.

Viewers should focus on the darkest parts of the sky far from the Moon, even if the area is not near the radiation point or origin of the Lyrids.

A common misconception about meteor showers is that you have to look directly at the radiation spot to see a meteor shower when meteorites are actually visible in all parts of the sky.

"Radiation is not extremely important, but the higher the sky, the greater the chance of seeing the meteorites sweeping in all directions from a common origin," Samuhel said.

 USE Lyrids Graphic with Radiant Point.png

The Lyrids are an annual meteor shower that can be traced back to comet C / 1861 G1 Thatcher. At each orbit of the comet around the sun, it leaves a trail of debris. When the earth passes this field of rubble, a meteor shower unfolds.

It is one of the longest running meteor showers in recorded history.

"The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the oldest known meteor showers. Records of this shower date back to about 2,700 years. The ancient Chinese are said to have destroyed the Lyrid meteorites in 687 BC. How rain fell, "explained EarthSky on their website.

When over aged, the shower delivers 10 to 20 meteors per hour, but it is well known that in the past it produced brilliant light shows that fill the night sky with shooting stars.

"The Lyrid meteor shower has occasional eruptions with up to 100 meteors per hour," said Samuhel.

However, such an eruption is not expected this year.

 FACTS ABOUT THE LYRID METEOR SHOWER

People who miss the Earth Day meteor shower do not have to wait long for another opportunity to spot shooting stars. The next meteor shower is only a few weeks away ,

The Eta Aquarids will peak in the night of May 6 until the early morning of May 7, reaching up to 30 meteors per hour across the northern hemisphere and up to 60 meteors across the southern hemisphere deliver per hour.


Questions or Comments? Send Brian Lada an email to Brian.Lada@accuweather.com and follow him on Twitter!

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