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Space Science

Lyrid Meteor Shower Arrives This Weekend 62

mdsolar writes "If you want to take a chance on the Lyrid Meteor Shower you should be looking this weekend. This shower is usually a quiet one but can result is spectacular displays from time to time. Earth & Sky gives viewing times as the very early hours of Sunday and Monday morning. The moon will have set by then."
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Lyrid Meteor Shower Arrives This Weekend

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  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @11:12PM (#18808451) Homepage Journal
    Note to self: bring an umbrella this weekend.

    I know of no better predictor of bad weather than an interesting astronomical event, at least here in the Washington, DC area. It's really spooky. How does it know?
    • by corsec67 ( 627446 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @11:15PM (#18808471) Homepage Journal
      What, you don't think there is a link between astronomical events and the weather?
      Like how when a big meteor hits, it gets really cloudy for a while?

      Yeah, that is kind of odd...
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by ozbird ( 127571 )
      How does it know?

      Optics (cameras, binoculars, telescopes etc.) - especially new optics - pointed skywards create clouds...
    • At least you don't live in Western Wasington state. It doesn't seem to care here, it doesn't need an excuse to rain :p Maybe I'll drive East a bit for better weather.
    • by QuantumFTL ( 197300 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @02:35AM (#18809271)

      Note to self: bring an umbrella this weekend.
      When I first read this, I thought you must have one hell of an umbrella...
    • Same in the UK. We've had lovely weather for about two weeks and completely clear skies at night but this is guaranteed to put a stop to it. Come to think of it, it was a bit colder this morning...
    • by eyewhin ( 944625 )
      I feel your pain. I am currently living in Germany and was stoked in 1999 when we were going to be treated to a total solar eclipse. In August, it is usually dry with clear skies. Of course, the days leading up to the eclipse were splendid, as were the days after the eclipse. I caught about a one second glimpse of the sun during totally :-(

      David
  • by afidel ( 530433 )
    This weekend is finally going to be nice in my neck of the woods with clear skies and overnight lows above freezing by a bit. The last couple meteor showers have either been clouded over or the temp was too low to lay out.
  • Hello,

    Does anyone know when to look for this meteor shower in Sydney, Australia?
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      At night.
    • Does anyone know when to look for this meteor shower in Sydney, Australia?

      Meteor showers aren't like eclipses; they're not better on one part of the Earth than another. (Well, they're better on the "non-cloudy" parts, but that's beside the point!)

      Meteor showers are a result of the Earth -- the WHOLE Earth -- passing through a cloud of dust. The key isn't WHERE you are, but HOW MUCH LIGHT you can eliminate.

      When the moon is out, it drowns things out, so the suggested times are merely indications of when the moon and sun (obviously) are hidden from view.

      -- :- Dabe

      • by onemorechip ( 816444 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:55AM (#18808953)
        Meteor showers aren't like eclipses; they're not better on one part of the Earth than another. (Well, they're better on the "non-cloudy" parts, but that's beside the point!)

        Well, no, see my other post in this thread. If the radiant is below the horizon, you won't see any meteors (or just a few grazers if it is only slightly below). If you go far enough south, you will reach a point where you can't see the Lyrids at all, because Lyra is a northern constellation. But, if you can see them, then the suggested time is more dependent on when the radiant is above the horizon, than on when the moon is below the horizon. In years in which both are in the same part of the sky during the shower, that is just bad luck because you won't have a very dark sky at the right time anywhere on the planet.

    • by onemorechip ( 816444 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:43AM (#18808915)
      Lyra (where the radiant of this shower is) has a declination of 40 degrees north. Sydney is around 34 degrees south of the equator. So the radiant won't ever be very high above the horizon in Sydney, and you will probably not have a great view. Find out what time Vega transits this time of year (sometime between midnight and dawn, I'm sure); that is when Lyra is highest in the sky (it will be the bright star about 16 degrees above the northern horizon). You might be able to catch some meteors then.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Here's a link to some detailed info on the shower:
      http://www.imo.net/calendar/2007 [imo.net]

      According to it, it peaks on April 22nd at 22:30 UT, which puts it at 6:30pm EDT, or 8:30am on April 23rd for Sydney, Australia. So the middle of the night between April 22 and April 23 would be good for you.
    • Assuming it ever gets above the horizon in your location it's the same local time everywhere, isn't it? Meteor showers are caused by the Earth passing through a trail of dust left by a comet. The side of the Earth which is at the "front" and hitting the dust as we fly through space changes at exactly the same rate as the sun moves across the sky, because both are the result of the rotaion of the Earth. At least, that holds true for periods of a few days when we can ignore the effects of our orbit around the
  • by hAckz0r ( 989977 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @11:28PM (#18808547)
    I got up this morning and had a meteorite in my front yard. Landed about 40 feet from both my house and my car. It was about 3.5" in diameter and VERY heavy for its size. Metallic with iron oxide in the concave indentations but non-magnetic. It would do some serious damage if it hit something straight on, but this one must have skipped across the field next to us and just happened to stop where it was laying in my grass. I never heard a thing.
  • I live in a city... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:00AM (#18808721) Journal
    ...you insensitive clod! We have a hard enough time seeing Venus!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by iminplaya ( 723125 )
      I was in a city once. Didn't see much sun either.
    • by arivanov ( 12034 )
      Yep. While the air where I live is relatively clean the light pollution is so high that you can barely see anything below 2-3rd star magnitude.
    • Um, I live in the city and all 5 of the naked eye planets are clearly visible. Lots of stars are visible too - just not nearly as many as in the country.

      You clearly haven't tried to look.
    • Depending on the city I hear some of you have problems seeing the Sun.
  • and use the shower as my excuse? Probably not. I guess that's just for "meatier" showers. har.
  • comet dust (Score:4, Informative)

    by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:21AM (#18808821) Journal
    this meteor shower is mostly the result of the comet Thatcher crossing very close to Earth's orbit. the comet approaches the sun shedding gas and dust which stays in orbit around the sun and once in a while Earth crosses through it. anything larger than a grain of sand or so can be visible and as has been said before, some can get very large. In fact, a meteor was found by my grandfather not long ago in a river bed- it was about 6 inches long and was quite heavy. these fragments from this comet are probably less dense than this as most objects in the asteroid belt much similar to comets are of the stony variety [type S] which are usually more porous, lighter and made mainly of rock.
  • by CrAlt ( 3208 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:25AM (#18808837) Homepage Journal
    I think this counts as my weekly shower... sweet!
  • Does any one know if this shower is visible from the arse end of the world? (New Zealand?)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Old Wolf ( 56093 )
      Does any one know if this shower is visible from the arse end of the world? (New Zealand?)

      As long as you can see the source location (ie. between Vega and Hercules), then yes.

      As it happens, that is visible due dead North from Auckland at 4am at an elevation of about 15 degrees. It should rise at about 1am and set about 7am (obviously a somewhat to the west and east respectively).
  • TFA doesn't state from where you will be able to view this shower, only that its around this sunday & monday. I would personally like to know if I can watch it from Europe, particularly Sweden? Thanks
  • Dupe! (Score:5, Funny)

    by pifactorial ( 1000403 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @01:10AM (#18808993)
    This is a dupe! The meteor shower happened last year.
  • Random encounter (Score:5, Informative)

    by FeebleOldMan ( 1089749 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @01:12AM (#18809005)

    The "true peak time" isn't listed exactly on the articles because it is very difficult to predict exactly when you'll get a dramatic increase of meteors. I remember a couple of years ago when they predicted a Leonids meteor storm to occur near midnight of +8GMT, and it didn't happen; apparently the pile of space dirt got blown off course by the solar wind and the Leonids peak actually happened in the daytime where I lived.

    For global viewers, just pick a time when the constellation Lyra is up in the sky, and for easiest viewing, when the moon hasn't risen. Try Stellarium http://www.stellarium.org/ [stellarium.org] to find your best time. If you are able to view it after midnight, all the better as that's when the most meteors will be directly slamming into the atmosphere overhead.

  • by 0311 ( 796591 )
    For a moment I thought it said Lurid Meteor Shower and was afraid the article wasn't safe to click on at work...
  • by edunbar93 ( 141167 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @10:51AM (#18812459)
    The moon will have set by then.

    It's also worth noting that the moon is only 3 days old [cleardarksky.com]. Even if it was still up at the meteor shower's peak, it wouldn't affect its visibility much.

    Also, you'll still be able to see plenty of meteors next week if it's cloudy. These showers are typically still active throughout the month.
    • It's also worth noting that the moon is only 3 days old [cleardarksky.com]. Even if it was still up at the meteor shower's peak, it wouldn't affect its visibility much.

      <pedantry>
      No, this phase of the moon is only 3 days old. The moon is rather quite older than that. ;-)
      </pedantry>

      I'll go shut up now. =)

      Cheers
  • my god, depending on where you live, it's full of stars!
  • Whenever there's a nice meteor shower coming, it's always cloudy where I am. So clearly, meteors bring bad weather.

    And don't get me started on eclipses...

  • Around 2 AM this morning I saw one fairly bright one. But that was it in about 20 minutes of watching. Nice that spring is really here.

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