SHOW. The beautiful days are timely. This should make the night sky watchers more comfortable. In the nights of the weekend, starting from April 21, 2018, will begin the peak of activity of the rain of shooting stars of the Lyrides. Thus named because it will be visible in the sky on the side of the constellation Lyra. A constellation in which Vega shines, a very bright star. If you’re not a fan of astronomy, do not hesitate to help an application (SkyView, Star Walk, or other) to locate it in the firmament.
Comet tail dust
But even without application, you should not have too much trouble observing this meteoritic rain if the sky is clear and there is not too much light pollution around. This meteoric bombardment originates from comet C / Thatcher. Discovered in 1861 by the astronomer A. E. Thatcher, this last one winds up its orbit in 415,5 terrestrial years. It is therefore a comet long period (over 200 years) designated in the nomenclature by the letter C next to his name. Its revolution is therefore much slower than that of the Earth which, every year, passes through the hair left by this comet under the action of the solar rays. If the comet was only identified in 1861, the rain of meteorite It has, however, been identified for a long time. The first traces of their observations date back more than 2,700 years, says NASA on its website .
These comet debris, if they are large enough, are consumed by penetrating into the Earth’s atmosphere to the point of burning, then emitting luminous streaks as visible as fleeting. And for good reason. These celestial bodies are moving at breathtaking speeds. While an airplane circulates at about 900 km / h, the fireballs from the Lyrides run about 50 km per second. This leaves little time to make a wish.