TONIGHT: A Heavenly Shower of Shooting Stars-Watch In Person or Livestream via NASA

Look for spectacular shooting stars this week as the annual Lyrid meteor shower light up the heavenly nighttime skies!

The meteor shower will be available from April 16 to 25, but the best views will occur on the night of April 22-23, starting tonight!

It’s an especially good year to spot the Lyrids.CDIMx96WEAEfI97

“This year the moon will be a waxing crescent only 1/15th the brightness of a full moon, and it will set early, allowing excellent dark sky conditions for this shower,” Slooh Community Observatory astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement (PDF).

The Lyrids, which are pieces of debris from a comet, have been observed for more than 2,600 years, according to NASA. Each year around this time, the Earth runs into the comet’s debris stream, which causes the shower.

“For the 2015 shower, I’m expecting 15 to 20 Lyrid meteors an hour,” the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office’s Bill Cooke wrote on a NASA blog.

Meteor Shower

“Peak rates should occur after 10:30 pm on April 22 your local time, for observers in the northern hemisphere. For observers in the southern hemisphere, Lyrid rates are not significant until after midnight your local time.”

HOW TO VIEW THE EVENT

Stargazers in Europe may have the best views, but many people around the world should be able to spot the Lyrids. And there’s no need to buy special equipment to spot the showers. Find a patch of a dark, open sky away from artificial lights, “lie down comfortably on a blanket or lawn chair, and look straight up,” wrote Cooke.

Or head to your computer. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will livestream the event starting at 11 p.m. ET Wedensday. Slooh’s livestreaming event starts at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday. Use the hashtag #SloohLyrids to ask questions that could get answered live.

hercules

The name of a shower is based on the point from which it originates, called the radiant. The constellation where the radiant is located gives the shower its name. In this case, home base is probably the constellation Lyra.

Another beautiful feature of the Lyrids to watch for … about one quarter of these swift meteors exhibit persistent trains – that is, ionized gas trails that glow for a few seconds after the meteor has passed.

You don’t need to identify Vega or its constellation Lyra in order to watch the Lyrid meteor shower. The idea that you must recognize a meteor shower’s radiant point in order to see any meteors is completely false. Any meteors visible the sky often appear unexpectedly, in any and all parts of the sky.

However, knowing the rising time of the radiant point helps you know when the shower is best in your sky. The higher Vega climbs into the sky, the more meteors that you are likely to see. Be aware that the star Vega resides quite far north of the celestial equator, so for that reason the Lyrid meteor shower favors the Northern Hemisphere.Meteor_falling_courtesy_NASA

Around the Lyrids’ peak, the star Vega rises above your local horizon – in the northeast – around 9 to 10 p.m. local time (that’s the time on your clock, from Northern Hemisphere locations). It climbs upward through the night. By midnight, Vega is high enough in the sky that meteors radiating from her direction streak across your sky. Just before dawn, Vega and the radiant point shine high overhead. That’s one reason the meteors will be more numerous before dawn.

Source: RT and Earth Sky

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PROPHECY:

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke (Acts 2:19 KJV).

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork -Psalm 19:1 (KJV).

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:- Amos 5:8 (KJV).

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