Meteor showers to be observed tomorrow

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Top off your Earth Day celebrations tonight (April 22) by watching a parade of falling stars: The Lyrid meteor shower peaked this morning about 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT), but the display will continue tonight, according to NASA. So, this dark night sky will create excellent viewing conditions for the 2017 Lyrid meteor shower. The best time to view the peak of the Lyrids is expected to be Saturday morning about an hour before dawn, according to EarthSky. Meteor activity could still be good enough on Saturday night to catch a few then, as well.

The Lyrid meteors are pieces of the comet Thatcher, discovered and last seen in 1861, the most recent year it reached perihelion, the point in its orbit closest to the sun.

The meteors shoot across our sky as the Earth moves through a stream of debris from the comet.

On the night of April 5, 1861, an amateur astronomer named A. E. Thatcher was observing the skies in NY when he noticed an unusual object in the constellation of Draco. The higher Vega is in the sky, the more Lyrids are likely to be seen.

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This is the second time in a week that viewers will be treated to an astronomical sky show.

The Lyrid Meteor shower usually produces about 20 meteors per hour.

Patient observers will be rewarded with the sight of 18 meteors per hour before dawn from a dark sky location. Their broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET, Friday, April 21. It doesn't show you the glowing streaks in the sky, but its fascinating to watch meteoroids show up as multicoloured peaks in these scrolling, auto-updating 3D radar graphs.

It's recommended that you step outside and look up at the sky 20 minutes before the shower is due to take place.

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