Earth Day Leonid Meteor Shower

It seem appropriate that Earth Day (today) should also be the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower . The peak was this cloudy morning in cloudy Houston, but it will last a few more days.

Lyrid Meteor Shower form the ISS

Lyrid Meteor Shower form the ISS

Polished Meteorite

Ground & Polished Meteorite

Geekquinox  provided the attached ISS satellite photo and the info below.

The Lyrid meteor shower — or ‘the Lyrids’ — is an annual meteor shower caused by Earth passing though debris left behind by a comet called C/1861 G1 (Thatcher), or just Comet Thatcher. As the comet makes its over-400-year-long orbit around the sun, its path takes it right through Earth’s orbit. The tiny grains of dust and ice blasted off by the heat of the sun form a trail along that path, and each year, right about the same time in April, the planet sweeps through that trail. The grains hit our atmosphere travelling at just shy of 50 kilometres per second (or 180,000 km/h), and light up the air around them due to the friction and pressure, forming the bright meteor trails.”

The cool thing about this relatively small meteor shower (Typically 20-30 meteors/hour) is that is has occasionally produced some bright fireballs, even a few outbursts of up to 100/hour. It might be associated with a bright fireball over Russia the other day.

So, if you like this nerdy stuff, and clouds cooperate, go outside and look straight up over the next few nights. The meteorite on my desk did not hit my house. I bought it ground and polished from Sadigh Gallery.



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