THUNDER BAY – If I asked you to come out and spend a night stargazing, tonight might be the night. Environment Canada is calling for clear skies in Thunder Bay tonight. The moon won’t be in the sky, and the 2012 Lyrid meteor show will have the night sky full of shooting stars.
NASA reports, “In 2011 the bright moon overshadowed visibility for many meteor showers, but now Lady Luna has decided to share the stellar stage. For the 2012 Lyrid meteor shower, a new moon will set darker skies that are ideal for meteor watching from the ground. As an exciting twist, NASA hopes to add two new viewing dimensions to this year’s Lyrids watching, producing a “3-D” experience both from the ground and above Earth.
“If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an early spring weekend, make plans to stay “up all night” with NASA experts to watch the Lyrids brighten the skies. On Saturday, April 21, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. EDT — convert to your local time here — meteor experts Dr. Bill Cooke, Danielle Moser and Rhiannon Blaauw from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will answer your questions about the Lyrids via a live Web chat”.
If you want to join the chat, visit www.nasa.gov just after 11PM EDT.
NASA adds, “In addition to live meteor camera views from the ground, astronomers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. and Dr. Tony Phillips of Science@NASA are teaming up to seek a new dimension for Lyrid viewing. Dr. Phillips and a dozen students from Union High School and Home Street Middle School in Bishop, Calif., will launch a video camera on a balloon above Earth’s surface on the night of the Lyrids peak — hopefully to capture brilliant meteors burning up in the atmosphere from a vantage point well above the clouds”.
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