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Lyrid meteor shower expected to light up skies late Monday night, early Tuesday morning

Viewers with clear skies should be able to witness as many as 20 shooting stars per hour.
By Brooks Hays   |   April 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- The Lyrids, a meteor shower that arrive every year from April 16 to April 26, are expected to peak late tonight and into Tuesday morning.

The meteors that splash into the Earth's atmosphere and light up the night sky every spring are the debris trail left behind by Comet Thatcher -- a long-period comet estimated to orbit the Earth once every 415 years.

The Lyrids are so named because the shower's shooting stars are seen within the vicinity of the constellation Lyra. Much of the action will occur near Lyra's brightest star, Alpha Lyrae. At the shower's peak, viewers with clear skies should be able to witness as many as 20 shooting stars per hour.

Those cursed by clouds can stream the meteor shower live via Slooh, a free online observatory.

[Slooh]
[Space.com]

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