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The Lyrid meteor shower of 2020 peaks tonight! – Space.com

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You may not be able to see the moon in the sky tonight, but if you look up for long enough at a dark, clear sky, you may catch some “shooting stars.” 

The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks overnight tonight (April 21) and into the early hours of Wednesday (April 22), less than a day before the new moon. Without any glaring moonlight to obstruct the view, skywatchers will have an excellent view of the Lyrids this year — weather permitting. 

From a dark, clear sky, observers in the Northern Hemisphere can expect to see as many as 10 to 20 meteors per hour during the shower’s peak. Because the shower is active from mid- to late April, some Lyrid meteors may still appear before and after the peak, but tonight will be your best chance to see them. 

Related: Lyrid meteor shower 2020: When, where & how to see it

The shower’s peak will last for a few hours, but maximum activity is expected to occur around 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT) on Wednesday, according to the Observer’s Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. That’s about 20 hours before the moon reaches its new phase at 10:26 a.m. EDT (0226 GMT). That tiny sliver of a nearly-new moon still won’t be visible in the night sky, because the moon will be below the horizon. In New York City, for example, the moon sets at 6:23 p.m. local time tonight and rises again at 5:50 a.m. tomorrow. 

To spot the Lyrids, find a dark sky away from light pollution and look up — ideally while lying on your back, so you don’t strain your neck. Lyrid meteors will appear to originate from a point in the sky on the border between the constellations Hercules and Lyra (home of the bright star Vega). This apparent point of origin, known as the meteor shower’s radiant, will be in the northeast after sunset and almost directly overhead in the hours before dawn. 

The radiant, or point of origin, of the Lyrid meteor shower is in the constellation Hercules, near the border with the Lyra constellation. (Image credit: SkySafari App)

Once you’ve located the radiant, don’t just stare at that spot all night. Longer streaks tend to appear farther from the shower’s radiant, so you might miss the best meteors if your eyes are glued on that singular spot all night (also, focusing on a single point in the dark for so long might strain your eyes). 

So, since lying down on the ground is both more comfortable and will give you the best view of the entire sky, we suggest you kick back and relax to make the most of this brilliant, cosmic event.

Editor’s note: If you snap a great photo Lyrid meteor shower that you’d like to share for a possible story or image gallery, send photos, comments and your name and observing location to spacephotos@space.com.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

 

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What to expect from the ECB today [Video] – FXStreet

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– Overview of market sentiment at the European open (00:00).

– Detailed look at what to expect from the ECB announcement today (2:22).

– Merkel over delivers on the latest German stimulus package (17:40).

– Oil volatility here to stay as OPEC+ meeting looms (19:17).

– UK hits out at China over HK security law as they look for 5G alternatives (26:18).

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The cleanest pocket of air on Earth? It's in the Southern Ocean, between Tasmania and Antarctica – National Post

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The cleanest air on Earth lies in a pocket of sky between Tasmania and Antarctica, scientists say. 

A team of researchers at Colorado State University conducted a bioaerosol study of the Southern Ocean from Tasmania to Antarctica — the first of its kind — and drew air samples at the marine boundary level, where the atmosphere meets the ocean surface. 

“We were able to use the bacteria in the air over the Southern Ocean (SO) as a diagnostic tool to infer key properties of the lower atmosphere,” microbian ecologist Thomas Hill, from Colorado State University, told Science Alert.

Via modelling and analysis, the team noted that the samples were free of aerosol particles — a sure indicator of human activity, like fossil fuel burning, agriculture and fertilizer production — blown in from other parts of the world. The samples were also split into latitudinal zones, so that the team could observe how the air changed as they moved further south. 


Kathryn Moore collects bioaerosol samples in the Southern Ocean.

Kendall Sherrin/CSU

Via wind patterns, airborne microorganisms can travel vast distances. However, the bacterial make-up of the samples suggested that the closer they were taken to Antarctica, the cleaner they became. This suggests that aerosols from distant land masses and human activities are not travelling south into Antarctic air.

Instead, the samples appear to be composed of microorganisms from the ocean and little else. 

“It suggests that the SO (Southern Ocean) is one of very few places on Earth that has been minimally affected by anthropogenic activities,” Hill said. 

The results counter similar studies that were carried out in oceans in the subtropics and the Northern Hemisphere, which concluded that most microbes came from upwind continents.

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The Strawberry Moon Eclipse May Be Visible Over Metro Vancouver This Week – 604 Now

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Metro Vancouver is in for a treat this week, as we’ll be able to see the Strawberry Moon eclipse shine over the city this Friday.

Named after the red summer fruit, this phenomenon is June’s full moon – or otherwise called the Hot Moon or Rose moon.

RELATED: Vancouver Shoots Down Motion To Allow Drinking in Public Areas

This particular moon, however, kicks off 2020’s “eclipse season,” and will be visible during the moonrise and moonset. 

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You’ll just have to be ready at either 5:30 am or 8 pm, Friday, to see the eclipse over Metro Vancouver. 

So, will you be checking it out this week? 

Friday, June 5th is also the day of the second George Floyd protest, happening downtown.

For more Vancouver stories, head to our News section.

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