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Astro Brief: Lyrid Meteor Shower

Neale LaSalle

What are meteors? Where to they come from? Mike explains, discussing the Lyrid meteor shower peaking on April 22 and 23.

The Earth catches varying sizes of dust and rocks as it orbits our sun. When small pebbles and dust are caught by the Earth from comets or asteroids, they are call meteors producing colorful streaks as they burn through our atmosphere. On the contrast, comets also orbit the sun but are balls of ice and dust from the outer solar system, evaporating and breaking off debris as they orbit inside Mars' orbit. The Lyrid meteor shower, first observed in 687 BC by chinese astronomers, is a result of such debris from the comet Thatcher, named after A.E. Thatcher for mapping out its orbit.

Astro Brief is a collaboration between KSMU, the Missouri Space Grant, and MSU's Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science. Hosted by Dr. Mike Reed, Astro Brief focuses on astronomical events, the field of astronomy, and astronomy-related guests. It airs Thursdays at 9:45 am on KSMU.

Distinguished Professor of the Missouri State University Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science.