NASA experts are encouraging anyone with an interest in the skies to go outside for a rare treat tomorrow night. The Lyrid meteor showers are expected to be in full view for all to see.
The Lyrid meteor shower comes as Saturn moves into position directly opposite the Sun, with Earth in between. When that happens, Saturn's rings can be seen from Earth with even a small telescope. It's a rare occasion that won't happen for another five years.
The shower usually releases 10 to 20 meteors every hour but can be unpredictable, with some surges featuring up to 100 meteors per hour. Lyrid is expected to rise in the northeast around 10 p.m. EST. However, meteors will be at their most visible some time after midnight.
"As dawn approaches, look about two-thirds of the way from the horizon toward the zenith in any direction. But don't get tunnel vision," Astronomy.com warns. "Let your eyes wander, and peripheral vision can pick up meteors you otherwise might not see."
If you are unable to see the meteors from where you are, log into "Up All Night With NASA!" Astronomers will be able to answer any questions about the Lyrid meteors from 11:00 p.m. Saturday to 5:00 a.m. Sunday. A live video feed of the meteor shower will also be available to anyone who is interested.
For the first time ever, video taken from a camera attached to a balloon will be streamed by the All Sky Camera Network. Students in California will release the balloon the night of the shower.
"Typical Lyrids are about as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper," Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. "And it's unusual to see one or two fireballs when the shower peaks."
See Video of What the Showers Look Like Here: