Saturday, April 16, 2022

It’s time for shooting stars!

In the coming days there will be an increase in the meteors visible by night: it is the Liridi meteorite shower, which has its peak on April 22.

The swarm is not very active, nothing compared to the Perseids of August, but it is very regular and is the right opportunity to go out in the evening and look at the stars. If you are lucky and if you look from a place with little light pollution you could see up to 20 shooting stars per hour!

The radiant of the swarm, that is, the direction from which the meteors seem to come, is located in the constellation of Lira, a few degrees from the star Vega, as shown in the first image. To try to observe as many shooting stars as possible it is convenient then to look towards this direction.

The Lirids have been associated with C/1861 G1 Thatcher, a long-term comet that completes a revolution around the Sun every 415 years. 

The Liridi are very important also at the historical level, since they are the first swarm of which we have verified observations. Its first description dates back to 687 BC, in the Chinese work Zuo Zhuan.

Credit: Sky & Telescope (first image), Petr Horálek (second image).

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