GAM2013 News

Lyrids-2013-200xFor Global Astronomy Month (GAM), April, 2013, AWB invites sky watchers around the world to join in the Lyrid Watch, April 20-22, for the Lyrid meteor shower!  Every year, since at least 2600 years ago, debris left behind by the Comet now called C/1861 G1 Thatcher has put on a spectacular sky show between April 16 and 26, peaking on April 22.

Watch for the shadow-casting "fireballs" and for the more typical, bright magnitude +2 Lyrid meteors radiating from the direction of the constellation Lyra and its brightest star, Vega.  Send your reports—including observation times, counts per minute, direction and brightness—to the International Meteor Organization (IMO) at: Visual Meteor Observation.  You can also Tweet your reports (using #GAM2013 and #LyridsWatch (@gam_awb), GAM2013 Facebook and Flickr group for photos as part of AWB’s global Lyrid Watch.  The meteor data will appear in a map at MeteorWatch.org.

Lyrid meteors hit Earth’s atmosphere at a moderate speed (for comet debris) of nearly 50 kilometers per second; watch closely, they cross the sky fast.  April 20 to 22 are only a few days before a full moon, so watch as far as you can from city lights.