I’ve got a quick update for all you astronomy buffs on the viewing conditions for the Lyrid Meteor Shower this evening.
Info via EarthSky.org: “The 2013 Lyrid meteor shower is already underway, and while it’s not predicted to be the most spectacular display of the year, it can be a good chance to go out and stargaze for a while.
The Lyrid meteor shower is expected to be active from April 16 to April 25, with an expected peak day of April 22. Unfortunately, this year there will be a waxing-gibbous moon (should be around 80% illuminated the night of the peak) which means there would only be a little more than an hour before sunrise with completely dark skies, and adding insult to injury, this would happen on the early hours of Monday, April 22.
All of that means only bad news for folks like me that need to drive at least 4 hours to escape the light pollution of the city trying to find a decent dark sky to watch (and possibly photograph) the meteor shower.”
Yes, unfortunately the moon will impact the viewing conditions, but for those of you away from city lights, meteors should still be visible. Our CloudCast forecast shows the best locations for viewing. View it here on our YouTube channel.
Temperatures have been frosty in the overnights across the Midwest and the Central Plains. Even the Southern Plains set some new low temperature records. Here are the official numbers from early Saturday morning:
The forecast overnight into Sunday morning doesn’t look much warmer. Cold air settles in across much of the nation, and if you’re headed out to chase the meteors be sure to bundle up! Tonight’s forecast:
If you miss out on the Lyrids, don’t worry. You’ll see an even more spectacular showing from Saturn as it turns towards Earth this month. It will be at its brightest point since 2006. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has more about noteworthy celestial events for the month of April here: What’s Up for April?
Happy Meteor Hunting! And hopefully things warm up soon! -Meteorologist Miranda Hilgers