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April 17, 2013

CAC's Spaced Out Challenge: The Lyrid Meteor Shower

With the moon growing and staying out later in the evening, we're going to shift away from deep sky objects to something more local.
Bonus moron astrophotography below.


The Lyrids take their name from the constellation Lyra, mostly faint besides it's gloriously bright alpha star, Vega. Vega is easy to find thanks to its brightness and its position in the Summer Triangle, "connecting" it to the brightest stars of Cyngus (Deneb) and Aquila (Altair). These constellations are home to a host of objects we will explore in the coming weeks, including the Veil and Ring Nebulae. Back to the meteor shower.

Lyrid Meteor Shower

Rarely a knock-your-socks-off storm, the Lyrids still deliver about 10-20 meteors an hour from country skies, and 4-5 bright streaks in a more urban setting. They appear from our perspective to originate from the aforementioned constellation, so look away from this radiant point if you hope to catch a few flashes. The shower begins tonight, and will peak on roughly the 22nd in the early morning hours, so you have plenty of time this upcoming week to plan your hunt.

Lastly, moron Additional Blond Agent linked an image of M100 in the last Spaced Out Thread, and I wanted to share a few of his images:


M104, The Sombrero, subject of one of our first Spaced Out Challenges


M57, The Ring Nebula, one of next week's

You can see the rest of his stuff here. I envy his 12.5" R-C.
As a heads up for next week's challenge, if you've contemplated getting an nebula filter for your small scope, now is the time. You can get a great deal on a Celestron O-III through Ace's Amazon storefront here If you have any astrophotos, tips, or topics for future Spaced-Out Challenges, email them to me at theoneandonlyfinn (at) gmail.com, and keep looking up!

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posted by CAC at 10:48 PM

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