Meteor Shower on April 22

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Meteor Shower on April 22

Post by ERICK on Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:15 pm

By Alcuin Papa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:23:00 04/08/2009

Filed Under: Science (general)

MANILA, Philippines – Sky watchers are in for a treat when the Lyrids meteor shower, the oldest known meteor shower, becomes visible on April 22, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Wednesday.

Dario dela Cruz, chief of PAGASA’s astronomical observation unit, said Lyrids will present up to 15 showers (or streaks) an hour in the eastern sky between midnight of April 22 and dawn of April 23.

“We don’t expect any barriers to the observation of the shower, except for cloudiness on the day itself,” Dela Cruz said.

The Lyrids meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,600 years and can be seen with the naked eye, according to the website of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Early Chinese records dating back to 687 BC describe the early showers as “stars falling like rain,” NASA said.

But lately, the Lyrids, which start in the area near the constellation Lyra in the night sky, have been weak, lasting for just less than a day.

According to NASA, meteor showers are dust particles from comets that leave a trail of debris as they pass the sun.

When our planet passes through one of these debris streams, tiny dust particles called meteoroids burn up in the atmosphere, producing a streak of light. All of the well-known annual meteor showers, like the Leonids and Perseids, as well as the Lyrids, are associated with long-lasting comet debris streams that intersect Earth's orbit.

The estimated speed of Lyrid meteoroids is around 109,000 miles per hour or 175,418 kilometers per hour. Their speed produces bright showers which are good for both beginner and expert observers, NASA said.

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