Shooting Stars Will Light Up the Skies This Week

Shooting Stars Will Light Up the Skies This Week

Shooting Stars Will Light Up the Skies This Week

Also known as Comet Thatcher, C/1861 G1 orbits the sun once every 415 years, which is the longest orbit of a meteor-producing comet.

The new coronavirus may have you locked down, but you're not locked out of your house. Called the radiant of the meteor shower, Lyra is the point from which the meteors appear to originate, and also gives the light show its name.

The first meteor shower of spring, known as the Lyrid meteor shower, will present a night skywatching show beginning on Sunday evening and peaking on Wednesday night.

Finally, something to see that COVID 19 can't have canceled or postponed!

The shower starts tonight and will end around April 25. It will peak on the night between 21 and 22 of April, on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims.

The early morning hours of April 22 will be the shower's time to shine.

With the shelter-in-place guidelines across Georgia, viewers will have to observe this rare shower from their backyards or (for Midtown and Downtown Atlantans) balconies.

So What's Causing All These Meteors?

Every April, our planet crosses its orbital path and debris trail, catching remnants of the comet that have broken off decades or even centuries ago. Most are so small they are vapourised in the atmosphere. Many times lately it seems we've been under a full moon when a sky event was occurring. "While the average Lyrid is fairly bright, this shower is not photogenic, unless you take time exposures during maximum activity". Most meteors will only appear as faint streaks.

When Earth comes into contact with the debris, its gravity sweeps up some of these objects and they pass into our atmosphere. Unfortunately, Lyra never rises very high in the southern hemisphere. If previous years of the Lyrids shower is anything to go by, you'll probably catch somewhere up to 25 zoomies happening - but maybe it could revert back to the peak of the 1982 shower, where one astronomer saw 90 Lyrids in an hour. The viewing is subject to weather conditions.

There will be some light clouds on Monday, but the current forecast for Tuesday calls for clear skies.

Will You Need a Telescope or Binoculars?

You need no equipment to enjoy the show; the best tools for observing such showers are your own eyes.

Where Are the Best Locations for Viewing?

Keeping an eye on this constellation may be the best opportunity for city-dwellers to stand a chance of enjoying the spectacle despite interference from ambient light.

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