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16 May, 2021
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Oldest known meteor shower peaks this weekend

Stargazers lie down late at night and enjoy the Lyrid show


If you have been looking for shooting stars this week, then you may want to get ready for a great show, as the annual Lyrid meteor shower is expected to peak after Saturday midnight.

Like all meteor showers, the Lyrids are caused by fast-moving debris bits that create bright streaks when they burn up as they collide with Earth's atmosphere.
This time of the year, the debris comes from Comet Thatcher as it orbits the sun.

Best way to see the show

If you are in Cyprus or somewhere in the northern hemisphere, you could watch as many as 10-20 shooting stars per hour, provided that you are somewhere dark, away from bright city lights, and weather conditions do not work against you.

The best viewing time is at 2am Sunday or at least after midnight Saturday when moon interference is low. And the best viewing position would be to lie down face-up, maybe on a blanket or lazy chair, and simply look up.

Keep in mind you are literally watching dust from a comet that takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun

Keep in mind that weather conditions will affect visibility, but cloudy skies should clear out just in time for the show late Saturday night. A half moon this weekend could make viewing conditions difficult but not impossible.

So, if you are lucky and spot something from the constellation of Lyra, somewhere in the vicinity of star Vega, keep in mind you are literally watching dust from a comet which takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun.

The Lyrid show is not as spectacular or bright as the Perseids in August, but it is the oldest known meteor shower.



Cyprus  |  meteor shower  |  Lyrid  |  astronomy  |  star

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