Stargazing: Lyrid meteor shower

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That lull in meteor activity will end this weekend when the Lyrid meteor shower peaks in the predawn hours on Sunday. Lyrid meteors can be seen any time after midnight when the constellation Lyra is well above the horizon. The best time to look, however, is between about 2 a.m. and dawn. That's when the local sky is pointing directly into the meteoroid debris stream. The new moon will guarantee a dark sky for this year's show, allowing observers of the Lyrids to view one or two "shooting stars" every few minutes.

The best way to view the meteor shower is to lie down on your favorite lawn chair and look up somewhat toward the north near the constellation of Lyra. The higher Lyra and its bright star Vega climb into the sky, the more meteors you are likely to see.

Meteors can appear in any part of the sky, although their trails will tend to point back toward the radiant near the constellation of Lyra.

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First Published April 16, 2012 12:00 AM


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