Astronomy Picture of the Day – Meteor in the Milky Way

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

Meteor in the Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright: Marko Korosec

Explanation: Earth’s April showers include the Lyrid Meteor Shower, observed for more than 2,000 years when the planet makes its annual passage through the dust stream of long-period Comet Thatcher. A grain of that comet’s dust, moving 48 kilometers per second at an altitude of 100 kilometers or so, is swept up in this night sky view from the early hours of April 21. Flashing toward the southeastern horizon, the meteor’s brilliant streak crosses the central region of the rising Milky Way. Its trail points back toward the shower’s radiant in the constellation Lyra, high in the northern springtime sky and off the top of the frame. The yellowish hue of giant star Antares shines to the right of the Milky Way’s bulge. Higher still is bright planet Saturn, near the right edge. Seen from Istra, Croatia, the Lyrid meteor’s greenish glow reflects in the waters of the Adriatic Sea.

We Are Having A Dazzling Meteor Shower No One Is Talking About, Check It Out…

Observing the Leonids

The Leonid meteor shower has produced some of the most spectacular meteor displays in history, but it is unfortunately periodic in nature.

The Leonids generally begin on November 13 and end on November 21, with maximum generally occurring during the night of Novemer 17/18. The Leonids are barely detectable on the beginning and ending dates, but observers are generally treated to displays of about 10 meteors per hour on the night of maximum. About every 33 years, the Leonids enter a phase of enhanced activity that accompanies the return of its parent comet. During these periods, rates can amount to hundreds and even thousands of meteors per hour. The last such enhanced period occurred during the period of 1998-2002 and the Leonids have been winding down ever since.

Apparently these meteors have been studied since way back in the 1800’s. I have provided a link that contains the full article and also the page has a Southern Hemisphere & Northern Hemisphere chart to find the shower.

Meteor Showers Online