Lyrid Meteor Shower | 2019
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San Francisco Bay Area |
Submitted by the Event Organizer
The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks Monday night and early Tuesday morning. It’s active each year from about April 16 to 25.
In 2019, the peak of this shower – which tends to come in a burst and usually lasts for less than a day – is expected to fall on the morning of April 23, though under the light of a bright waning gibbous moon.
In a moonless sky, you might see about 10 to 20 Lyrid meteors an hour at the shower’s peak. No matter where you are on Earth, the greatest number of meteors tend to fall during the few hours before dawn. In 2019, the bright the waning gibbous moon may wash out this shower during its usual prime time morning hours.
But, in 2019, the moon will be up before dawn, too. So try – this year – watching in the early part of the night. There will be a brief window between the time the radiant rises in mid-evening and moonrise around midnight. You might see some meteors during these evening hours, and, in particular, the evening hours are the best time to catch an earthgrazer, which is a slow-moving and long-lasting meteor that travels horizontally across your sky.
An outburst of Lyrid meteors is always a possibility, too, though no Lyrid outburst is predicted for 2019.
In 1982, American observers did see an outburst of nearly 100 Lyrid meteors per hour. Around 100 meteors per hour were seen in Greece in 1922 and from Japan in 1945.
If you see a meteor, notice whether it leaves a persistent train – that is, an ionized gas trail that glows for a few seconds after the meteor has passed. About a quarter of Lyrid meteors do leave persistent trains.
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