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2009 Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks April 22nd

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Author Topic: 2009 Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks April 22nd  (Read 660 times)
martinastro
Martin Mc Kenna
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« on: April 11, 2009, 02:19:18 pm »

The Lyrid meteor shower will be starting shortly. Its meteors are usually seen from April 16-25, and the shower should peak on Wednesday, April 22, perhaps around 11h UT, but almost certainly at some stage between 03h-14h UT that day. This timing means only radio-meteor observers in Britain will be able to follow whatever happens during this predicted interval, till about midday at least. However, the Moon is new on April 25, so skies should be dark for anyone in the UK hoping to spot something of the rising Lyrid activity overnight on April 21-22. The Lyrid radiant reaches a usefully-observable elevation after 22h30m UT or so, and its visibility improves throughout the night. The closer the shower's peak falls to the ~11h timing, the higher its Zenithal Hourly Rates (ZHRs) are likely to be, perhaps 20-25 or more. The average ZHR is 18, and it tends to be lower the further the maximum happens away from this "ideal" time. The maximum is typically quite short, lasting no more than a few hours, but occasionally it can be more prolonged, such as in 2000 and 2001, when peak activity lasted for over eight hours. Rarely, strong ZHRs up to 90 have occurred (last in 1982 over the USA). Consequently, in years like 2009 with little or no Moon, the shower is always one to watch, just in case. Lyrids are medium-fast meteors, and can be very bright sometimes.

More information on the shower, including a radiant-location chart, is available in the April 2009 meteor notes, off the SPA Meteor Section's recently-revamped homepage at:

http://www.popastro.com/sections/meteor.htm .

Full details on how to make and report meteor watch observations are also now on the SPA website from this page, for the first time.

Good luck, and clear skies!

Alastair McBeath,
Meteor Director, Society for Popular Astronomy.
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Tyler
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2009, 07:14:13 pm »

Thanks for the reminder Martin, I'll be preparing for that now.
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Roman White
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 01:35:30 pm »

Last night Lyrids' activity increased up to ZHR=13.
http://www.imo.net/live/lyrids2009/

I planned to observe at 23-01h UT but... slept over  Embarrassed

Anybody observed them last night?
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John9929
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 01:42:58 pm »

I observed all night only saw 4!
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martinastro
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 02:04:48 pm »

I done five hours in extremely cold conditions and seen 12 Lyrids. I didn't even stay out to the pre-dawn period because the show was so poor. The best meteors I did see were not Lyrids, they came from Bootes. One was mag -1 with orange fragments falling from it as it burnt up in the E. I observed more sats and flares than I did meteors. Very good sky too, except the lower regions which were thick with mist/fog. The poorest Lyrid meteor shower I have ever seen...unless they pick up in time for US observers.
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brianb
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 02:34:18 pm »

Quote
I observed all night only saw 4!
Hmmm .... it's fair to say that I wasn't watching for meteors specially, but I was out all night (except for a short snack break around 1am) in pretty reasonable conditions - I saw more meteors than is usual in spring, even so only about a dozen altogether, and the vast majority of those were definitely sporadics rather than Lyrids.
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 04:13:14 pm »

I didn't even bother, as we had a 40/100 cloud cover, i just thought it would be depressing not being able to see some of them, or only seeing part of them. Clouds did clear however for the planet conjunction. Too bad you guys didn't see much  Sad
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2009, 07:08:55 pm »

I observed Lyrids yesterday, Apr.22/23 at 22:45-00:50 EEST (19:45-21:50 UT).

Lyrids showed up moderate activity and the sky transparency was great, although it was cold (+1...-1C). I could easily resolve Mizar & Alcor which is surprising with my not very sharp eye.

Total 7 meteors seen (6 LYR, 1 SPO).
Next is copy of my report:
Quote
// Number section
// Interval             RA  Dec Teff     F     Lm LYR SPO
period 1945-2010 253 +46 0.420 1.04 5.10 P 1 P 0
period 2010-2125 245 +41 1.250 1.04 5.20 P 5 P 0
period 2125-2150 239 +38 0.420 1.04 5.30 P 0 P 1

// Magnitude section
//               Show Interval    -6  -5   -4   -3   -2  -1  +0  +1 +2  +3  +4  +5  +6 +7 Tot
distribution LYR 1945-2010 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
distribution LYR 2010-2150 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.5 0.5 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 5.0
distribution SPO 1945-2150 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0

// Personal comments
20:08:26UT - LYR orange with trail, very slow
20:29:52UT - LYR bright (-2.5) with trail
21:02:35UT - LYR with trail

According to IMO, ZHR was ca.12 (maximum ZHR=16 during the daytime, ~10 hours earlier).
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Roman White
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2009, 04:14:43 pm »

The results of Lyrids-2009:

(violet line is predicted maximum (Apr.22, 11UT), blue line is period of my (single) observation - see above)

The shower peaked on Apr.22 ca.02UT (some 9 hours earlier than predicted) at ZHR=15 +/-2 and then slowly decayed during next ~25 hours with average ZHR=12.

Currently in IMO: 1042 Lyrids in 275 data intervals, reported by 56 observers in 18 countries.
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