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Another meteor shower, the Geminid, sparkled over the Spanish canary island of Tenerife on Dec. 13, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

Sunday Night Forecast: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meteors

by Steve Mullis
Apr 21, 2013 (Weekend Edition Sunday)

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Keep your eye on the sky Sunday evening; the Lyrid meteor shower is expected to peak. It's the first meteor shower of the spring season.

The Lyrid shower is caused by Earth passing through the orbit of a comet known as Thatcher, though the comet itself hasn't been seen since 1861. Dust particles from the comet will be seen as flashes of light as they burn up in our atmosphere.

Kelly Beatty, senior contributing editor for Sky and Telescope magazine, tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin that the best time to watch will be in the early hours of Monday morning, just before dawn.

"The nice thing about meteor showers is that they are very widespread," Beatty says. "This shower lasts about a day and a half."

Beatty also recommends finding a place that is dark, without a lot of street lights, to have the best odds of seeing the flashes of light in the sky.

"Meteor showers are truly magical," he says. "It's like the universe communicating with us on some primal level. Meteors are the cosmos in action."

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