Meteor showers visible tonight

By Helen Flores, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 21 2014 08:57 AM | Updated as of Apr 21 2014 04:57 PM

MANILA - Stargazers in the country could look forward to seeing a dozen meteors per hour tonight until tomorrow, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

“The shower’s peak this year will be in progress on April 21 to predawn of April 22,” PAGASA said.

Astronomers said observers in the northern hemisphere are best located to view the Lyrids, adding the best time to view the meteors is after nightfall and before dawn.

Lyrids has been observed for more than 2,600 years. Chinese records show that “stars fell like rain” during the meteor shower of 687 B.C., according to PAGASA.

However, it noted that in recent times the Lyrids have generally been weak.

“Lyrids typically generate a dozen meteors per hour under optimal conditions with a brief maximum that lasts for less than a day,” the agency said.

“Although not numerous, Lyrids are bright and fast meteors,” it said.

Considered to be the oldest known meteor shower, Lyrids are named after constellation Lyra.

According to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Lyrids are pieces of debris from the periodic Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, discovered in April 1961 by A.E. Thatcher.

NASA said meteors come from leftover comet particles and bits from broken asteroids.