Lyrids meteor shower to captivate sky gazers
New Delhi: Sky gazers are in for a treat as they can look forward to a display of celestial fireworks with the Lyrids meteor shower that is expected to peak over the weekend.
Lyrids are a prolific meteor shower and are visible every year around April 22 when the earth moves through the Lyrid meteor stream. At its peak, one can see trails of shooting stars at a rate of 10 to 20 meteors per hour.
The 2013 Lyrids meteor shower will be seen from the entire northern hemisphere and are unique because though shooting stars are common, a shower of shooting stars is rare.
"This year, the shower will be spread over two days. The moon will be rising a little after the radiant rises. Hence, the chances of high number of meteor observations are less," said Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) director CB Devgun.
"The time when the shower would be at its peak is the intervening night of April 21-22 from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m." added Devgun.
SPACE is a private organisation working for popularising science among people.
"April marks the beginning of the Lyrids meteor shower, which is bright and often leaves a trail. However, light pollution and the presence of the gibbous moon may hamper the observation," said Devgun, adding that the city won't be able to witness much.
As comets move about their orbits, they leave a trail of dusty and rocky debris, which gets attracted when the earth crosses their orbits. The showers are seen as the debris light up on entry into the earth's atmosphere.