Lyrid Meteor Shower & An Asteroid Fly-By

Enjoy the Lyrids meteor shower after dark this week

Every year in April on earth's orbit around the sun, the planet moves through a debris cloud of what amounts to small pieces or chunks of comet leftovers.

The Lyrid meteor shower 2017 will light up the sky later this month and for keen stargazers there are a range of ways to see the dazzling display.

What causes the Lyrid meteor shower are the interactions that follow when Earth passes through the dust left by comet C/186 G1 Thatcher. NASA says 10 to 20 Lyric meteors per hour can usually be observed during the shower's peak.

The light from the almost full moon makes it hard to spot numerous dimmer meteors, reducing the number of meteors that onlookers can spot.

People here can observe the meteor shower with plain eyes, without any astronomical telescope.

Astronomy enthusiasts have a chance to spot up to 18 meteors per hour during the peak period, according to the Observatory.

"Meteor showers are notorious for being fickle so you really never know for sure what's in store unless you watch", EarthSky notes.

Assuming you are in an area with clear skies, your next challenge is getting somewhere dark.

The Lyrid is one of the world's oldest meteor showers, named after the constellation Lyra. You can start to see the meteors before the official peak and they may linger a few days after, there just won't be as many per hour. The meteors will look as if they were coming from that star.

Viewers can tell if a meteor belongs to a particular shower by tracing back its path to see if it originates near a specific point in the sky, called the radiant.

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