Lyrid Meteor Shower 2012: Where & When to Watch the Lyrids
Lyrid Meteor Shower Coming April 21-22, 2012
Stargazers, rejoice. The Lyrid meteor shower will be visible in the pre-dawn sky early on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22.
The Lyrid meteor shower is a delivery from a comet called C/1861 G1 Thatcher: the meteors we see are particles from the comet's tail. Though C/1861 G1 Thatcher orbits the Sun only once every 415 years, we get the Lyrids, like cosmic postcards, annually.
Where to Spot the Lyrid Meteor Shower
National Geographic is hyping up the Lyrid meteor shower, saying that it could be the best in years. Expect to see around 20 meteors per hour coming from the constellation Lyra, though hundreds may be visible. This is because the 2012 Lyrid meteor shower will be taking place during a new moon.
The reason the Lyrid meteor shower is so regular despite C/1861 G1 Thatcher's last visit to the inner solar system taking place in 1861: the comet orbits the Sun on a path perpendicular to our own orbit.