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Lyrid Meteor Shower Peak Over New Hampshire This Weekend


by Anura Guruge

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The Lyrid Meteor shower is an annual event taking place, typically, between April 16 and April 26.

It is caused by the Earth crossing through the debris field left behind by Comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher) over centuries.

C/1861 G1 (Thatcher), with an aphelion of 110 AU, a perihelion of 0.9207 AU and an orbital period of 415 years, was discovered on April 5, 1861 by A. E. Thatcher (not sure whether he is a relative). Its last perihelion was in June 1861, when it passed by the Earth at a 31 million mile separation. So, it came closer to Earth then than will the much anticipated Comet ISON, C/2012 S1. It will next go by Earth in 2,276.

The Lyrid Meteor shower has been observed for over 2,600 years!

Meteor showers, confusingly, are named after the constellation from which they appear to originate — though the constellation has nothing to do with the shower. It just provides astronomers with a reference as to where to find the shower. The constellation is Lyria. Vega the nearest distinguishing star.

The above map shows where you can locate the shower, early in the morning, on Monday, April 22, 2013.

They are expecting 10 – 20 meteors/hour, possibly with peaks of 100 meteors/hour.

I have seen some great meteor showers in NH. Maybe this might be a good one. Enjoy.