Meteor Shower this Weekend

Written by The Night Sky Guy on April 20, 2012 – 5:21 pm -

Skywatchers should get ready for some April showers but of a cosmic kind. This weekend should offer the best view of the Lyrid meteor shower in years, with a dark moonless night during the peak of the annual sky show.

The annual Lyrid meteor shower is set to peak overnight from April 21 into April 22, and with the moon out of sight at that time, it should make for great viewing under dark skies.

Lyrids is expected to produce modest number of  shooting stars –  falling at rates of 15 to 20 per hour – with the best performance centered  between 2 am and 4 am on April 22.

Read the rest of my viewer’s guide to the Lyrid meteor shower at National Geographic News.

Skywatching EXTRAS: If you do get stuck in the light polluted city and/or get clouded out this weekend for the sky show then you can still experience the Lyrids virtually at least with NASA. The Space Agency will have all sky cameras looking out for shooting stars during the overnight period and will also have a meteor expert on hand to can answer any of your questions.

According to the NASA website, “If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an early spring weekend, make plans to stay “up all night” with NASA experts to watch the Lyrids brighten the skies. On Saturday, April 21, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. EDT — meteor experts Dr. Bill Cooke, Danielle Moser and Rhiannon Blaauw from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will answer your questions about the Lyrids via a live Web chat.”

Here’s the the NASA link.

Also while you are making those wishes on all those shooting stars, watch out for the International Space Station too.  The orbiting lab will be making flybys over most North American and European cities the next few evenings too.  To get your viewing times for your neck of the woods then click here.

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