2013 Meteor Shower viewing guide
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Lyrids Information


   
 
 
 
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General Info  
 

How can I best view the Lyrids meteor shower?

If you live near a brightly lit city, drive away from the glow of city lights and toward the constellation from which the meteors will appear to radiate. For example, drive north to view the Lyrids. Driving south may lead you to darker skies, but the glow will dominate the northern horizon, where Boötes. rises. Lyrids meteors will appear to "rain" into the atmosphere from the constellation Boötes., which rises in the northeast around 11 p.m. in early-January.

After you've escaped the city glow, find a dark, secluded spot where oncoming car headlights will not periodically ruin your sensitive night vision. Look for state or city parks or other safe, dark sites. Once you have settled at your observing spot, lay back or position yourself so the horizon appears at the edge of your peripheral vision, with the stars and sky filling your field of view. Meteors will instantly grab your attention as they streak by.

A bright meteor may leave a ghostly glowing trail after it has passed. The technical name for this is a train - i.e. the fast moving streak is the meteor's trail and a glowing remnant of the trail is known as the meteor's train.

How do I know the sky is dark enough to see meteors?

If you can see each star of the Little Dipper, your eyes have "dark adapted," and your chosen site is probably dark enough. Under these conditions, you will see plenty of meteors. Circle December 14th on your calendar, for early that morning a moderate to possibly very strong showing of annual Geminid meteor shower is likely. The very strong display will favor those living across much of the Northern Hemisphere.  In this region, meteor rates might briefly rise to a few hundred per hour (the time frame for the most intense activity is anticipated sometime around 21:40 GMT). 

A far more modest, but still potentially enjoyable display of a few dozen Leonid meteors per hour is expected to favor North America. In the United States and Canada, eastern observers will be particularly well-positioned for maximum activity, expected sometime between 3:30 and 5:30 a.m., when the radiant of the Leonid shower will be well up in the dark southeastern sky.

 

Moon forecast for January 4th


New Moon. Meteor shower gazing conditions will be ideal as there will be no moonlight to interfere with observing.


 

Lyrids meteor shower fact file


First apeared: Early-1830's

Name origin: Appears inside the constellation Boötes.

Parent: 2003 EH1 (minor planet)

Active start date: January 1st

ZHR/Rate on peak: 60-120 per hour

Active end date: January 10th
 

 

Past Lyrids Showers (Videos)

Lyrids 1
Lyrids 2
Lyrids 3
 
General Info Lyrids History
 

The recorded history of the Lyrids meteor shower

Recorded history of the Lyrids coming soon.

 

Lyrids shower fact file


First apeared: 687 B.C.

Name origin: Appears inside the constellation Lyra.

Parent: C/1861 G1 Thatcher (comet)

Active start date: April 16th

ZHR/Rate on peak: 20 per hour

Active end date: April 25th
 

 

Past Lyrids Showers (Videos)

Lyrids 1
Lyrids 2
Lyrids 3

Stay tuned as the Spacedex write up is currently in progress.

 
General Info  
 

How can I best view the Lyrids meteor shower?

The Lyrids are the second major meteor shower of the year, but it is not one of the strongest. This annual Spring shower is recognized as an irregular shower, with rates that vary depending on the year. Like all meteor showers, the Lyrids are caused by the Earth passing through the dust particles of a comet. In Lyrids case, this comet is Thatcher (C/1861 G1).

Due to the complete lack of significant meteor shower activity from mid-January to Mid-April, the Lyrids meteor shower is often a pleasurable, if not relaxing experience for observers longing for a show in the night sky after three and a half months of waiting.

The 2013 Lyrids are active from April 16th through April 25th and reaches its peak, the moment when the most meteors can be seen, on April 22nd. The peak is defined as the moment of maximum activity, and this number is expected to range from 10 to 20 Lyrid per hour if conditions are ideal.

Unfortunately, for observers eager to for a dark sky this year, the Waxing Gibbous moon will likely wash away all but the brightest meteors, thus creating a fair viewing experience due to the natural light present during the shower. Enthusiastic star gazers willing to wait it out under the night sky for several hours may be lucky enough to catch several Lyrids.

The radiant of the Lyrids, also known as the point from where the meteors appear to come from, is situated within the constellation Lyra. Not coincidentally, the Lyrids are named after this constellation. To find the location of the radiant, we recommend you find Vega, a hard-to-miss star identified as the brightest star in the constellation Lyra and one of the brightest stars in Earth’s night sky (it’s the fifth brightest in the night sky and the second brightest star in the Northern Celestial Hemisphere).

On average, and under clear skies, observers should see 10 to 20 meteors per hour but very rarely these rates can exceed up to 100 meteors per hours due to extremely rare outbursts. In the best conditions, the Lyrids meteor shower will put on a slow show for those willing to stay out and watch.

How do I know the sky is dark enough to see meteors?

If you happen to live near a brightly lit city, if possible, we recommend that you drive away from the glow of city light. After you’ve escaped the glow of the city, find a dark, safe, and possibly isolated spot where oncoming vehicle headlights will not occasionally ruin your sensitive night vision.

Look for state or city parks or other safe, dark sites. Once you have settled down at your observation spot, face toward the north-northeastern portion of the heavens. This way you can have the Lyrids’ radiant within your field of view. If you can see each star of the Little Dipper, your eyes have "dark adapted," and your chosen site is probably dark enough.

Since viewing conditions for the Lyrids will be ideal this year, you will have a greater opportunity to see more Lyrids than observed during the prior year. We suggest that you dress warmly, bring a chair that reclines, or lay down on a bulky blanket. Look a bit toward the north and enjoy the celestial show!

 

Moon forecast for April 21st


Waxing Gibbous Moon. Lyrids shower gazing conditions will be fair. The moon may obstruct the faintest Quadrantids meteors.


 

Lyrids meteor shower fact file


First apeared: 687 B.C.

Name origin: Appears inside the constellation Lyra.

Parent: C/1861 G1 Thatcher (comet)

Active start date: April 16th

ZHR/Rate on peak: 18 per hour

Active end date: April 25th
 

 

Past Lyrids Showers (Videos)

Lyrids 1
Lyrids 2
Lyrids 3

The Big and Little Dippers

 

 

 

Viewing locations and times to view the 2013 Lyrids meteor shower


Africa Asia Australia South America
& The Caribbean
View Africa Countries View Asian Countries Australian Cities South American Counties
       
 

Europe

Albania Andorra Austria Belgium

Belarus Bulgaria Czech Republic Croatia

Denmark Estonia Finland France

Germany Greece Hungary Iceland

Ireland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein

Luxembourg Lithuania Malta Monaco

Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal

Russia Romania Scotland Serbia

Slovakia Slovenia Sweden Switzerland

Spain Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom

 

 

North America - Mexico & United States

Mexico Alabama Alaska Arizona

Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut

Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii

Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa

Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine

Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota

Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska

Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico

New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio

Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island

South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas

Utah Vermont Virginia Washington

West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming  
 
 

North America - Canada

Alberta British Columbia Ontario Québec

Saskatchenwan Manitoba Nova Scotia New Brunswick
 

Central America

Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala

Honduras Nicaragua Panama  
 

 

Having trouble finding a location? Search here:


 


Lyrids Tip

Keep in mind that any local light pollution or obstructions such as tall trees or buildings will reduce your sightings. Give your eyes time to adapt to the darkness once you move or face away from the lights.

Your name in the stars

Guide to photographing meteor showers


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