Campus News

Lyrid Meteor Shower Lights Up the Sky

By Skye Snowwalker

Meteor showers are amazing phenomena where you can you see large numbers of meteors flying through space with the naked eye. These showers are caused by the movement of the earth, as opposed to the meteors coming into view from further in space. This is why certain showers can be seen with regularity, and lucky for us, we have one coming up soon!

Every year, between the 16th and 25th of April, the Lyrid meteor shower occurs. The Lyrids are one of the longest-known meteor showers on Earth, with observations dating back over two millennia. The peak of the shower will be on April 22, thanks to the absence of the moon on that night. Pay close attention to the sky once the sun sets: There should be about 18 meteors visible per hour. However, the Lyrids are known for surges in meteors, with over 100 visible in a single hour. These surges cannot be reliably predicted. The best way to see if a surge is occurring is to simply keep an eye on the sky.

To view this shower you’ll want to find somewhere with minimal light pollution.
Fortunately, that’s much easier in Maine than it would be in New York or California. The majority of the meteors will be to the east, meaning you’ll want the city behind you, to the west. One of the best locations near the campus to view the shower is Fort Williams Park; it’s along the eastern coast, meaning nothing but the occasional ship to light up the east.

If you don’t live near campus but would still like to see the shower, fear not — it’s visible throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Simply look upward and eastward in a field or a park and you’ll likely be able to see the shower just fine.

Categories: Campus News

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