Could there be more Lyrid storms in the far off future, as Comet Thatcher reaches perihelion once again in the late 23rd century? A first-quarter moon at the shower's peak may block out all but the brightest meteors. The Perseids, one of the year's most-anticipated meteor showers for starwatchers, will be at its peak both tonight and tomorrow night. The Quadrantids produce up to 40 shooting stars an hour at the peak; but in 2020, as many as 100 meteors an hour could fly during the Jan. 3-4 peak, according to Space.com. The August full moon has also been called the green corn moon and the grain moon. Every year in April, Earth plows through Thatcher's 22: The Summer Solstice marks the first day of summer. outside and look. Unfortunately, the moon — and a supermoon at that — will wash out all but the brightest meteors, though patience may be rewarded for those who seek out dark skies after midnight. Sept. 22, first day of fall: The autumnal equinox occurs when the sun shines directly on the equator and there are nearly equal amounts of day and night around the world. 28 to 29: The Delta Aquarids meteor shower will be visible, producing up to 20 hours an hour at its peak. Unlike other meteor showers, the peak viewing time is in the early evening hours. 21 to 22: The Ursids meteor shower will be visible, and could produce 5 to 10 meteors an hour. And More…, Episode 688: Remnants From the Early Universe. The meteors come from the constellation Ursa Minor but can be seen anywhere in the sky. Lyrids meteor shower seen over Germany in 2018. 22: This day marks the first day of fall, known as the autumnal equinox. Mars will be visible all night. Aug. 12-13, Perseid meteor shower: If you can catch only one meteor shower in 2020, make it the Perseids, which produce up to 60 shooting stars an hour at the peak. 1: The full hunter's moon, known for being the ideal time to hunt, will be visible. meteor watchers suggest the following viewing strategy: Dress 13: Mars will be at its closest to Earth. Bring a reclining chair, or spread a thick blanket over 5: The full buck moon, named for the time of year where bucks grow out their antlers, will be visible. The best time to watch for Leonids is after midnight, and the crescent moon will already have set, leaving dark skies. Sept 2, full moon: Early Native American tribes called the September full moon the full corn moon because it signaled the time to begin corn harvests. The speed/velocity of the Meteor Shower particles is 33 km/s. Venus will make its closest approach to the sun, and the bright planet will be at its highest point above the western horizon after sunset. Though, even with a high-powered telescope, a faint blue dot is all that will likely be visible. stars. But a Lyrid may be implicated in another unusual 19th century observation. With the recent pandemic, stay-at-home orders and business closures, remember one thing: the sky will always be there. (C/1861 G1), and the encounter causes a meteor shower--the Lyrids. As recounted in a July 2004 issue of Sky & Telescope, researchers Marilynn & Donald Olson note the following line from James Joyce’s Ulysses: “A star, precipitated with great apparent velocity across the firmament from Vega in the Lyre above the zenith.”. It's also been called the moon before yule and the full long nights moon. Viewers were also primed for the event by the dramatic Leonid storm of 1799 four years earlier. There is an equal amount of day and night, and the days are getting shorter until the winter solstice. trails will tend to point back toward the radiant--i.e., toward June Lyrids Meteor Shower Facts Code JLY Constellation Lyra Peak Activity Date 15th Jun. The earliest account of this shower comes from a record made by Chinese astronomers in 687 BC, stating that “at midnight, stars dropped down like rain.” Keep in mind that this now famous assertion that is generally attributed to the Lyrids was made by mathematician Johann Gottfried Galle in 1867. March 24, Venus at its greatest eastern elongation: Mercury doesn't get all the glory on this day. But sometimes, For example, one letter to the Virginia Gazette states; “From one until three, those starry meteors seemed to fall from every point in the sky heavens, in such numbers as to resemble a shower of sky rockets.”. An unrelated meteorite fall would also occur four years later over Weston, Connecticut on December 14th, 1807 as recounted by Kathryn Prince in A Professor, A President, and a Meteor. The Solar Longitude (Abbrev: S.L., λ ☉) is 85.2 degrees, this value is the the date of maximum activity. July 22, Mercury at its greatest western elongation: Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the eastern sky just before sunrise. What makes this shooting star show unusual is that the meteors come from separate debris streams — dust grains left behind Asteroid 2004 TG10 and debris from Comet 2P Encke. 24: Mercury will be at a high point in the sky, making it easy to see for stargazers. Oct. 7, Draconid meteor shower peak: The Draconids are a minor meteor shower with only about 10 shooting stars an hour; but occasionally, Draco the Dragon — the radiant point of the Draconids — breathes fire, and an outburst occurs. Join us at patreon.com/universetoday. 30: The full cold moon, named for the long winter nights, will be visible. Jupiter is never brighter than it is this time of year, making it an ideal time to view and photograph the planet and its moons. In addition to meteor showers, full moons and supermoons — there are four of them in 2020 — Jupiter and Saturn will appear is one planet in a spectacular and rare conjunction in December. Coordinates: Right Ascension (280.3); Declination (55) It's unpredictable, though, and produces hundreds of meteors an hour during cyclonic peaks, which occur about every 33 years. The coordinates can also be determined by the Right Ascension (280.3) and the Declination (55). 6 to 7: The Eta Aquarids meteor shower will be visible, and will have 60+ visible meteors an hour at its peak. All interesting concepts to ponder as we keep an early morning vigil for the Lyrids this week. Chad Weber – [email protected], Support Universe Today podcasts with Fraser Cain, The Guide to Space is a series of space and astronomy poddcasts by Fraser Cain, publisher of Universe Today, Episode 691: Interview: Seth Shostak from the SETI Institute. Lyrid meteors are typically as bright as the stars in the Big However, occasional outbursts have been seen, with the outburst of 1916 drawing attention to the previously unrecorded meteor shower. 13: Venus will be at a high point in the sky, making it visible for stargazers. the rate increases. You should be able to see the Lyrids from 8 p.m. onwards in a north easterly direction. from the Earth. It's also been called the crow moon, the crust moon, the sap moon and the Lenten moon. The Lyrid shower is one of the oldest known regular meteor showers, with depictions dating back 2700 years. Here is a calendar of every significant astronomical event that will occur this year. The Lyrid meteor shower of 2020 will have a period of activity from April 16 to April 30. These events would place Yankee politics at odds with the origin of meteors and rocks from the sky. Sky watchers in 1982, for instance, counted 21 to 22: The Orionids meteor shower will be visible, and could produce up to 20 meteors an hour. Produced by debris left behind by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, this shower is best viewed after midnight. A penumbral lunar eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow — or penumbra — will also occur Jan. 10 but won't be visible in the United States. east. If you plan to view it, you'll need a powerful telescope. But in the early to mid-19th century, the very idea that meteor showers were linked to comets or even non-atmospheric phenomena was still hotly contested. and disintegrate as streaks of light. On April 20th 1803, one of the most famous accounts of a “Lyrid meteor storm” was observed up and down the United States east coast. 20: Saturn will be its closest to the Earth, making it easy to see. A second-quarter moon will wash out some of the faintest meteors, but patient skywatchers may be rewarded. Comet Thatcher. Aug. 3, full moon: Native American tribes called it the full sturgeon moon because the large fish found in the Great Lakes and other major lakes were easier to catch at this time of the year. May's two biggest astronomical events are happening within days of each other. Dipper, which is to say of middling brightness. The July full moon was also called the full buck moon by Native American tribes because that's when male deer begin growing their antlers, but it's also been called the full thunder moon and full hay moon. 21: The Winter Solstice marks the first day of winter. have nothing to do with Vega. A medium telescope will allow someone to see vague features of the planet. A name is preferred even if its a random made up one by yourself. Overall, they observed 32 June Lyrids, with the average magnitude being determined as 3.09. The January full moon has also been called the old moon and the moon after yule. 9: The full snow supermoon will be the first of four supermoons in 2020. Viewing is best after midnight, and a crescent moon will set before then. Oct.1, full moon: This year, but not every year, the October full moon is also a harvest moon. to Earth. to resemble a shower of sky rockets..." [ref]. And More…, Episode 684: Open Space 87: What Would It Take to Terraform Venus, And More…, Episode 685: Open Space 88: UFO Culture with Author Sarah Scoles, Episode 682: Life on Venus?
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