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Lyrids in Southern Skies (photo composite)

By: Yuri Beletsky

 

Region: Americas

Site: Atacama Desert - Chile

Date: 2014 April 22

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As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day, As our fair planet plowed through dust from the tail of long-period comet Thatcher, the annual Lyrid meteor shower peaked before dawn in this multi-exposure image from 2014 April 22. Even in the dry and dark Atacama desert along Chile's Pacific coast, light from a last quarter Moon made the night sky bright, washing out fainter meteor streaks. But brighter Lyrid meteors still put on a show. Captured in this photo composite recorded during several hours of the early morning, the meteors stream away from the shower's radiant near Vega, alpha star of the constellation Lyra. The radiant effect is due to perspective as the parallel meteor tracks appear to converge in the distance. Rich starfields and dust clouds of our own Milky Way galaxy stretch across the background. Click the constellation icon above the image to see the labels. Yuri Beletsky

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