Meteor Shower Producing “Luminous Dust Trains” Returns to the Hudson Valley
Spring is a great time of year for astronomical events, and the month of April will be sure to deliver.
Space.com is reporting that an annual meteor shower is set to peak again in April over the Hudson Valley. Like many annual showers, the event can be seen during its best viewing times before dawn and later again at night.
But sometimes the month of April brings rain to the Northeast, so weather will again be a factor. However, scientists say there's another yet factor this year that will be quite beneficial for viewing.
Meteor Shower Comes to the Hudson Valley
Space is reporting that the Lyrid meteor shower will again occur between April 16-25, and will peak on the night of April 22, 2023. Live Science says that the Lyrids are the debris left from comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher that can be witnessed as the Earth passes through its remnants. According to Space, Thatcher is a long-period comet that orbits the sun every 415 and a half years.
What to Expect?
This is typically a pretty mild meteor shower, with about 10 to 20 meteors seen per hour on average. The American Meteor Society says however that a few of these meteors can suddenly become very bright, briefly igniting into spectacular fireballs, or, by producing "luminous dust trains", in the words of Space,ocm.
Another thing to consider is that a waxing crescent moon will be just 6% illuminated on the night of the peak, according to scientists. This will help provide better viewing opportunities.
Scientists also say the Lyrids are known during certain years to produce an outburst of meteors, with over 100 meteors per hour. Some say those outbursts come every 30 years, though experts are not exactly sure what years produce the most output.
Space.com says that peak viewing time will be before dawn, but the Lyrids will also become visible beginning at about 10:30 PM.
Other Cool Stuff
In late March, the biggest display of planets of 2023 aligned in the western sky, as Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and Mars were seen just after sunset. ABC even went so far as to say the next impressive planetary display of this magnitude will not happen until September 8, 2040.