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This year’s Lyrids Meteor Shower reaches its peak of activity on 22nd April 2014. Exact timings are difficult to predict, but meteor forecasters expect the highest rates of shooting stars to occur some time between 11am to 10pm British Summer Time on April 22nd. This means that for the UK there is a good chance that the very highest rates of meteor activity will happen during daylight hours. Should the peak occur later in the day however, a good number of Lyrid meteors should still be visible from UK skies after dark on April 22nd and into the early hours of April 23rd.
When and Where to Look for the Lyrids
From the UK we need to be looking up in to the sky towards the East and North-East after dark on the 22nd to catch a glimpse of the Lyrids meteor shower. The Lyrids radiant, which lies midway between the bright star Vega and the constellation of Hercules, is quite low to the horizon at first. At 10pm it is only about 20 degrees above the horizon. By midnight the radiant will have swung up to almost +35 degrees above the horizon, and will be located almost due east. For sure we’ll be a little further away from the shower’s peak of activity by this time, but with the radiant higher in the sky we should get to see more meteors because more of the sky in which the shower is active will now be visible from the UK.
After midnight and into the early hours of the 23rd April the Lyrids radiant will continue to climb higher into the sky, hopefully enabling us to keep watching out for shooting stars all the way through until dawn breaks on the 23rd.
What is the Lyrids Meteor Shower?
The Lyrids Meteor Shower is an annual display of shooting stars that happens at roughly the same time each year. The Shower is active between April 16th and April 25th, and delivers a peak in activity (in 2014) on April 22nd. On peak night, and the nights either side, as many as 20 meteors per hour can be seen hurtling across the sky. From the ground they look like bright flashes of white light moving swiftly across a small area of sky. Some of the brightest Lyrids leave trains of fading light behind them that can remain visible for several seconds after the meteor has passed.
All meteor showers are caused by the interaction of Earth’s atmosphere with a trail of small dust grain particles left by the passage of long-gone comets that once intersected Earth’s orbital path. The Lyrids are the result of Earth passing through the path that Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher took the last time it visited the solar system.
2 >> Select a telescope and check availability
3 >> Hire period is 7 or 14 nights, starting and ending Fridays or Saturdays. Nightly telescope hire is also available from our Southwest England hire bases
4 >> Make your booking request here, or phone Seb on 07884 001815
5 >> We will send you a booking confirmation. A delivery / pick up time is arranged for the start of the hire period, and a collection / drop-off time is fixed for the end of the hire period. These times are flexible.
6 >> You can pay for your telescope hire by cash on the day of collection or delivery. We also accept advance bank payments, cheques and paypal payments.
7 >> Everything you need to use the telescope is included. Our stargazing guides provide detailed information to help you navigate your way around the night sky.
8 >> Enjoy the wonders of the night sky!
We are located on the High Street (A5120) in Toddington close to Jct 12 of the M1. From the motorway head up the hill into Toddington. The road bears left at the Church. Continue along the road past the shops on your right. We are 100 yards or so up on the left.
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Dark Sky Telescope Hire
41 High Street
Tel. 07884 001815
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