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The moon is just a few days past full on the nights of April 21 and 22. Meanwhile, the Lyrid meteor shower is expected to put forth its greatest number of meteors during the predawn hours on April 22 and, especially, April 23. If you’re a veteran meteor-watcher, you’re already shaking your fist at the moon. Its glare will drown out all but the brightest Lyrids. However, the moon offers its own delights, sweeping past Jupiter – the largest planet in our solar system and second-brightest planet in our skies – on these mornings. Also, you can look for the bright star Vega, which nearly marks the radiant point of the Lyrid meteor shower. Both Jupiter and Vega should have no trouble overcoming the moon-drenched skies. Find them, enjoy them … and maybe you’ll spot a meteor, too!
By the mornings of April 24 and 25, the moon will have passed Jupiter to appear near Saturn.
Number - Lyrid - Meteors - Hours - Dawn
The greatest number of Lyrid meteors usually fall in the few hours before dawn. That’s when the radiant point – near the star Vega in the constellation Lyra – is highest in the sky. For that reason, that’s when you’re likely to see the most meteors, albeit, this year, in the light of the moon.
Note for Southern Hemisphere observers: Because this shower’s radiant point is so far north on the sky’s dome, you’ll see fewer Lyrid meteors. But you might see some! If you want to watch, try the moonlit skies between midnight and dawn on April 22 and/or 23.
Night - Shower - Meteors - Hour - Peak
On a dark night, this shower typically offers about 10 to 15 meteors per hour at its peak. Unfortunately, in 2019, the moon is sure to bleach out a good number of Lyrid meteors. That is, the meteors will be flying. If you’re out watching, you might...
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