Sorry this info is late…..
"The best time to look will be between the
time of moonset [between 1 and 2 a.m., local time] and dawn, and the
best way to observe the show is to recline comfortably, facing anywhere
from north to east and gazing nearly overhead," Cook said.
Published April 19, 2010
the Lyrids might not be cosmic celebrities like August’s
showy Perseids, the April meteor shower has been known to offer up a
surprise or two for sky-watchers
‘Shower’ Killed Ice Age Mammals?")
"Although the Lyrids have
been observed since 687 B.C., the behavior of the shower from year to
year is unpredictable," said Anthony Cook, an astronomer for the Griffith Observatory in Los
"An average Lyrid shower produces between 10 and 20
meteors per hour, but occasionally these rates increase to 90 per hour,"
Cook said. "In 1803 the shower produced about a thousand meteors per
hour"—just enough to qualify as a meteor storm.
to See the Lyrid Meteors
This year, Lyrid meteor
activity began picking up on April 16, and the shower will run until
"The best time to look will be between the time of
moonset [between 1 and 2 a.m., local time] and dawn, and the best way to
observe the show is to recline comfortably, facing anywhere from north
to east and gazing nearly overhead," Cook said.
"The best location
is a region far from urban light pollution with a fairly open horizon."
to Be a Sprinkle or a Storm?
The Lyrids’ "shooting
stars" will appear to radiate from around the brilliant star Vega in the
shower’s namesake constellation Lyra.
Vega now shines nearly
overhead in the predawn hours for stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere.
In the Southern Hemisphere skies, the Lyrids will produce just a
sprinkling of meteors.
As with other annual meteor showers, the
Lyrids are thought to be caused by debris left over from a passing comet.
When Earth passes through the trail of particles—most no bigger than
grains of sand—the tiny rocks burn up in our atmosphere, creating bright
Lyrids have been linked to the periodic comet
Thatcher, which has an orbit that’s skewed nearly perpendicular to
the plane of the solar
system, the tabletop-like plane along which the planets orbit.
dearth of planets along the comet’s path means that its debris trail
stays relatively stable, which is most likely why the Lyrids have been a
reliable meteor shower for centuries.
But sometimes Earth passes
through a particularly dense clump of cometary leftovers, and that’s
when meteor rates skyrocket.
So are sky-watchers this year in for a
sprinkle or a storm?
"The only way to know what the Lyrids have
in store for you," Cook said, "is to go outside and observe them."