The stretch of 5 nights summarized in this post covers the maximum of the Lyrids shower. The Lyrids are often considered a major shower but with only a max rate of 15-20 meteors per hour they can be considered either the weakest major shower or the strongest minor shower.
This year’s display was produced the usual number of Lyrids with a peak visual ZHR of ~20 per hour. Over 30 observers from 15 countries reported 396 Lyrids to the International Meteor Organization. Maximum occurred around 20 hours UT on April 22.
The night of April 21/22 started off wet and cloudy in Tucson. Since the weather maps showed evidence of clearing later in the night I decided to start my camera even though it was still raining. Luckily the sky did clear around midnight and almost 6 hours of observing produced 19 meteors, 14 of which were Lyrids. The next 4 nights didn’t detect many more Lyrids as weather conditions again limited the detection efficiency of my camera.
With the Lyrids out of the way, we can now look forward to one of the Earth’s biannual treks through the debris of Comet Halley. Unfortunately this year’s Eta Aquariids will be hurt by bright moonlight.
Obs Date(UT) Time TOT SPO ANT ZCG LYR PPU TUS 2010-04-26 08h 59m 8 7 1 - - 0 TUS 2010-04-25 08h 53m 2 2 0 - 0 0 TUS 2010-04-24 02h 22m 6 5 0 - 1 0 TUS 2010-04-23 00h 00m Clouds all night TUS 2010-04-22 05h 54m 19 4 1 - 14 0 TUS - Camera in Tucson operated by Carl Hergenrother SDG - Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford TotTime - Total amount of time each camera looked for meteors TOT - Total number of meteors detected SPO - Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower) ANT - Antihelions ZCG - Zeta Cygnids LYR - Lyrids PPU - Pi Puppids