M left notes in the calendar and for today, it simply says ‘Lyrids’…. Sounded rather ominous, and since I believe it is better to know and understand things than have something sneak up and bite me, I decided I’d better look this up in Wikipedia. As per them:
The April Lyrids (LYR, IAU shower number 6 ) are a meteor shower lasting from April 16 to April 26 each year. The radiant of the meteor shower is located in the constellation Lyra, near this constellation’s brightest star, Alpha Lyrae (proper name Vega). Their peak is typically around April 22 each year.
The source of the meteor shower is particles of dust shed by the long-period Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. The April Lyrids are the strongest annual shower of meteors from debris of a long-period comet, mainly because as far as other intermediate long-period comets go (200–10,000 years), this one has a relatively short orbital period of about 415 years. The Lyrids have been observed for the past 2,600 years.
The shower usually peaks on around April 22 and the morning of April 23. Counts typically range from 5 to 20 meteors per hour, averaging around 10. As a result of light pollution, observers in rural areas will see more than observers in a city. Nights without a moon in the sky will reveal the most meteors. April Lyrid meteors are usually around magnitude +2. However, some meteors can be brighter, known as “Lyrid fireballs“, cast shadows for a split second and leave behind smokey debris trails that last minutes.
SO, I guess M planned to write one of his sky watch posts about this and apparently these could be something interesting to watch but I confess that I don’t completely understand what wikipedia was talking about…. His telescope looks very alone, too.