Sun, 23 Apr 2017 (7 days ago)
Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Meteor Showers feed
The Lyrid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 23 April 2017. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 19 Apr to 25 Apr.
The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible is around 10 per hour (ZHR). However, this assumes a perfectly dark sky and that the radiant of the meteor shower is directly overhead. In practice, the number of meteors you are likely to see is lower than this, and can be calculated from the ZHR formula.
From Washington (click to change), the radiant of the shower will appear 20° above your north-eastern horizon at midnight. This means you are likely to see only around 3 meteors per hour, since the radiant will be low in the sky, reducing the chance of seeing meteors.
The radiant of the Lyrid meteor shower is at around right ascension 18h10m, declination +32°, as shown by the green cross on the planetarium above. All of the meteors will appear to be travelling directly outward from this point, as indicated by the white lines drawn above.
The Moon will be 26 days old at the time of peak activity, presenting minimal interference.
To see the most meteors, the best place to look is not directly at the radiant itself, but at any dark patch of sky which is around 30–40° away from it. It is at a distance of around this distance from the radiant that meteors will show reasonably long trails without being too spread out.
|The sky on 23 April 2017|
All times shown in MDT.
The Handbook of the British Astronomical Association.
An artistic depiction of the Leonid meteor storm seen over North America on the night of November 12-13, 1833, Edmund Weiss