FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Interior Alaska is expected to have a front row seat to the Lyrid Meteor Shower early Wednesday morning, if cloud coverage cooperates.
The Shower, on display every April, is expected to peak early Wednesday, with the Interior of Alaska in position to observe the show. Other parts of the state, such as the southern and northern regions, will have a less likely chance for the spectacle, with cloud coverage blocking views. According to the Fairbanks National Weather Service, cloud coverage may be spotty in the Interior overnight as well.
"We are going to be slowly clearing, but probably going to be mostly cloudy tonight," Kerri Simmons, of the Fairbanks National Weather Service, said. "Any areas that do clear out might see areas of fog, which might hinder visibility as well."
"If there were anybody living up towards Circle, Stevens Village or that area, it looks like that will be the clearest area kind of close by."
Viewers of The Lyrid Meteor Shower could see somewhere between 5 and 20 meteors per hour. On the clearest of night, Fairbanks is a great location for meteor shower shows.
"You want dark skies and clear skies," Mark Conde, Professor of Physics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks said. "Naturally, mid-April is a good time for that. The radiant is at a good angle above the horizon here in Fairbanks, so we should see it fairly easily."
That is, if there is enough visibility. However, it doesn't take much debris to light up the night sky.
"It doesn't take a very big particle to produce a really bright meteor. Sometimes you'll see these really bright meteors that even leave a trail of smoke behind them," Conde said. "The particles that produce those are probably not much bigger than a pea or a Lima bean or something."
Conde says the best chance to see the meteor shower is around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The meteors, radiating from the Lyra constellation, could be seen up until April 25.
The Lyrids are caused by Earth’s atmosphere colliding with the debris left by the Comet Thatcher which passed Earth last in 1861 and won’t return again until 2276, according to our sister station KTUU.
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