The last year brought us the opportunity to witness some of the most amazing celestial events and 2012 is announcing to be just as spectacular. The Lyrids meteor shower peaks this weekend and Saturn’s rings and the new moon are going to leave the night sky darken just the right amount for you to see the shooting stars.
If you were wondering what you could do this weekend, then you’d better put in your schedule time to watch the Lyrids meteor shower. This year’s meteor shower gives sky watchers quite a rare treat. The night sky will be lighted by shooting stars, while Saturn’s rings and the new moon will make the sky dark ink during the midnight to dawn Sunday morning.
Experts say that you won’t need a telescope to enjoy this weekend’s meteor shower. According to their estimates, the meteor shower will peak 20 meteors per hour, but some will be quite spectacular. The peak is estimated for Sunday morning at 05:30 GMT – 1:30 am EST, Saturday 10:30 pm PST and if you’re lucky you might get to witness a surge of about 100 meteors per hour.
The Lyrid meteors originate in the debris left 2,500 years ago by a comet labeled as C/1861 G1 Thatcher in the constellation Lyra the Harp. The debris enters the planet’s atmosphere at the stunning velocity of 110,000 mph.
As sky watchers enthusiastically add, this weekend’s celestial event isn’t all about the Lyrids meteor shower. Perhaps it won’t make much of a difference for those of you not owning a telescope, but tonight Saturn’s rings will align to give you the best watching angle. It is something that doesn’t happen too often, so you can maybe make a trip to the observatory and make a night out of it.
Saturn is currently at opposition, an event that doesn’t happen too often. The next time Earth will be orbiting between Saturn and the Sun is going to be in 2017. So don’t waste your chance. You get to see the Lyrids meteor shower and witness Saturn’s opposition all in the same night.
For those of you looking for a good time to propose, there’s nothing more romantic than an engagement ring and shooting stars.