Meteor shower peaks on Earth Day - Tucson News Now

Meteor shower peaks on Earth Day

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Source: NASA/MSFC/D. Moser Source: NASA/MSFC/D. Moser
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The peak of an annual meteor shower falls on Earth Day (Tuesday April 22) this year. 

The best time to view meteors streaking across the sky is pre-dawn, which is around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. 

Lie back on a blanket and look straight up to wish upon a shooting star.

The fireballs are part of the Lyrid Meteor Shower, which generally produces 10 to 20 meteors per hour at the peak.  

A bright moon is in the sky during peak viewing hours, which may spoil some of the shooting star-gazing.

According to EarthSky.org "The Lyrid meteor shower has the distinction of being among the oldest of known meteor showers. Records of this shower go back for some 2,700 years. The ancient Chinese are said to have observed the Lyrid meteors "falling like rain" in the year 687 BC."

The meteors are produced as the Earth moves through an area of debris left behind by Comet Thatcher.  

The last time Comet Thatcher passed through the inner solar system was in 1861 and will not return until year 2276.  

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