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VERSKYNSELS ~ PHENOMENA

Lyrid Meteor Shower: Tuesday 21 to Friday 24 April 2020
Hierdie tyd van die jaar beweeg die aarde deur rommel wat deur 'n ou komeet agter gelaat is (laas in 1861 hier verby).
As mens in die vroeë oggend ure in die rigting van Lyra kyk (dit is ongeveer Noord-oos van Stilbaai bokant Pauline Bohnen reservaat) kan jy dalk kort kort 'n meteor sien verby flits.
Aangeheg is 'n artikel uit Sky at At Night vir u inligting. Die artikel is vir mense in Engeland geskryf maar as julle elke oggend vanaf drie uur kyk sal Lyra met sy hoof ster Vega sigbaar wees.
Hieronder is South Cape Astronomy in Pearly Beach se kommentaar op Facebook.
Deon Begemann

South Cape Astronomy: The Lyrid Meteor Shower - April 2020.
Earth is approaching a stream of debris from Comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1), source of the annual Lyrid meteor shower. The Lyrids peak on the night of April 21-22 with as many as 15 meteors per hour. These meteors are best seen from the northern hemisphere where the radiant is high in the sky before dawn.
From a Southern African point of view (Cape Town/Gansbaai/Pearly Beach), the radiant only clears the horison after midnight, reaching a maximum altitude of around 20 deg above the northern horison (the red circle above the star Vega in the chart below). The New Moon on the 23rd (04:26 SAST), will allow for dark skies making it an ideal time for observing a day prior and after peak.
About a quarter of Lyrid meteors leave persistent trains. A meteor train is an ionized gas trail that glows for a few seconds after the meteor has passed.
Comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1) is the source of the Lyrid meteors. Every year, in late April, our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of this comet. We have no photos of it because its orbit around the sun is roughly 415 years. Comet Thatcher last visited the inner solar system in 1861, before the photographic process became widespread. This comet isn’t expected to return until the year 2276. Bits and pieces shed by this comet litter its orbit and bombard the Earth’s upper atmosphere at 177,000 km/h, (10,000 miles per hour). The vaporizing debris streaks the nighttime with medium-fast Lyrid meteors.
The Lyrid meteor shower has the distinction of being among the oldest of known meteor showers. Records of this shower go back for some 2,700 years. The ancient Chinese are said to have observed the Lyrid meteors falling like rain in the year 687 B.C. That time period in ancient China, by the way, corresponds with what is called the Spring and Autumn Period (about 771 to 476 B.C.)
Date of maximum 22nd April, duration of the meteor shower 16th to 25th April. Radiant, R.A. 18h 05m, Dec +34. The zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) is 15, velocity 49 km/s, start observing 02:00 till 05:00.
Follow the link on how to observe meteor showers http://assa.saao.ac.za/how-to-observe/meteors/

Lyrid Meteor Shower

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