Saturday, May 18, 2024

Lyrid Meteor Shower: When and Where to Watch This Weekend | UK News


The Lyrid meteor shower is expected to light up dawn skies in parts of the country this weekend, with up to 18 stars expected per hour.

According to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, there will be fast, bright meteors – some with trains or trails of vaporized rock.

Here’s everything you need to know to increase your chances of being seen.

What’s the best time to watch it?

The show will peak in the early hours of Sunday, April 23 and will be visible until dawn.

It will be active from April 14 to 30, but Saturday night to Sunday morning will be the best chance to get a good look at it.

Dan Polacco, professor of physics at the University of Warwick, said: “The best time to see these objects is after midnight on a moonless night, with as little light pollution as possible.

“You need a comfortable place to sit because this shower only produces 20 meteors an hour – if you’re lucky!”

Where is the best place to see it?

The most important thing is to find a dark place with an unobstructed view of the sky.

Fortunately, the summit comes just after the new moon, so light pollution from the moon doesn’t spoil the view.

Royal Observatory Greenwich recommends warming up and grabbing a blanket or grabbing a deck chair if you want a more relaxing experience.

Will the weather be good for stargazing?

Unfortunately, most of the UK isn’t set up for great stargazing weather.

The north of Scotland looks set to get the best weather, Saturday will be fine and mostly sunny, but low cloud and fog will continue to affect the north east coasts.

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In another place, There is a risk of rain at most places Or cold if it rains for a long time.

The forecast for Saturday indicates that most parts of the country may experience rain and cloud cover

What is a meteor shower and where do meteors come from?

Meteors, or shooting stars, occur when pieces of debris called meteors enter Earth’s atmosphere at 43 miles per second, causing them to burn up and cause streaks of light.

In this case, the debris comes from Comet Thatcher, which is expected to return to the inner Solar System in 2276 after an orbital period of 415 years.

Professor Polacco said: “As comets orbit the Sun, the impact energy evaporates material from the comet’s nucleus, which we see as the comet’s tail.

“Gas and dust formed long after the comet is in its orbit remain in the comet’s orbit.

“If the Earth passes the comet’s orbit, any material deposited by the comet will become meteors or bright stars in the sky.

“These objects are usually the size of dust particles but when they fall into the Earth’s atmosphere, they travel so fast that they evaporate.

“In the path of the dust particle, the gas particles become very hot and give off light – this is a meteor.

“We’re not actually looking at the dust, but instead its vaporization effects on the particles.”

Stuart Wagner
Stuart Wagner
"Professional coffee fan. Total beer nerd. Hardcore reader. Alcohol fanatic. Evil twitter buff. Friendly tv scholar."

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