Meteor Shower To Light Up Weekend Sky

Meteor showers are named after the constellation coinciding with the area in the sky from which the meteors seem to emanate.

EarthSky said it's more likely that about 10 to 20 meteors per hour will be seen in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday.

"Meteor showers are notorious for being fickle so you really never know for sure what's in store unless you watch", EarthSky notes.

The Lyrids begin as tiny specks of dust that hit Earth's atmosphere at 109,600 miles per hour, vaporizing from friction with the air and leaving behind the streaks of light we call meteors, Astronomy magazine reported.

The weather station's Space Science and Astronomy Section said the Lyrids meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,600 years.

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NASA reports that the Lyrids will "radiate" through the Summer Triangle, which is made up of three bright stars in the eastern sky.

The meteor is formed by bits of debris left behind by the repeat passages through the inner solar system of comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1).

The shower's peak usually lasts just a few hours, but this year the predicted timing is good for North America, especially in the West, according to Sky and Telescope. "Bring along warm clothes and a blanket".

In terms of the best physical location to spot the show, the western side of the United States and the Great Lakes are being treated to clear skies tonight.

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