Falling stars to cover the sky in the coming days

Added by: A. Nozdrovická, 17.4.2020, 1582 visits


At the end of April, Lyrids appear every year in the sky. It is a meteor shower active from April, 19 until April, 25. Its activity maximum will fall on April, 22. This astronomical phenomenon is connected with the periodic comet P/Thatcher, whose orbital period is 415 years.

“The observed activity maximum is narrow because it lasts less than a week. This shows that the width of the outflow is small - the central fibre has only 200,000 km. There are clusters of particles in the trajectory of the outflow, their frequencies fluctuate stronger year after year,” said doc. RNDr.  Ján Svoreň, DrSc. from the Astronomical Institute SAS.

The first record of observing the meteor shower Lyrids comes from 687 B.C.  

“The trajectory of the shower passes near Saturn. Disturbances change the meteoroids´ trajectories so that they do not encounter the Earth. In some years, a very low frequency is observed,” said Ján Svoreň.

The astronomer adds that the conditions for observing will be very good this year because, during the shower´s activity maximum, the Moon will be in the phase of a new moon. Considering the height of the radiant above the horizon, better conditions for observation will always be in the second half of the night.


Photo: archiv AI SAS

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Record from the bolide camera of the Astronomical Institute SAS from the site in Stará Lesná. The picture shows visible circular traces of stars during a couple of hours´ exposition. The clear arch on the left is the trace of the Moon. The interrupted trace belongs to the meteor (interruptions serve to determine the velocity of the body in the atmosphere), the continuous line from top to bottom is the trace of the artificial Earth satellite. Sidelong on the right the massif of the Lomnický Štít can be seen