Lyrid Meteors

May 05, 2006


Referred by: Wally Pacholka
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Wally Pacholka

This image shows 2 meteors from the annual Lyrids Meteor Shower as well as 2 sporadic (random) meteors. It was taken from Joshua Tree National Park in California on April 22, 2003. The longer brighter trails are Lyrids meteors, which appear to more or less originate from the direction of the constellation Lyra. Click on the image to see the fainter, shorter sporadic trails. The portion of the sky shown is near the North Star (Polaris). This fortuitous shot resulted from a five minute exposure, using a 35 mm camera. Before this one, there were 500 unlucky shots.

The Earth will pass through a stream of dust from Halley's Comet this weekend, resulting in the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower. This shower peaks on Saturday, May 6th, when 10 meteors per hour may be observed from skies in the Northern Hemisphere. Perhaps as many as 60 meteors per hour can be detected in the Southern Hemisphere. To increase your chances of seeing some of these Aquarid meteors, look about an hour before sunrise on Saturday the 6th in the general direction of the constellation Aquarius.

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