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Europe 'best-placed for meteor shower'

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Europe 'best-placed for meteor shower'

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Europe is best-placed to enjoy tonight’s (April 22) meteor shower, according to astronomy experts.

The peak of the Lyrid meteor display, which takes place in mid-to-late April each year, is set for 23h BST (midnight CET).

It will be more visible in Europe than North America because of this timing and a weak moon, according to skyandtelescope.com.

The magazine’s senior editor Kelly Beatty wrote: “The annual Lyrid display will benefit from moonless skies. This year’s peak, late on April 22nd, favours Europe over North America.”

Meteor showers are the cosmic debris visible as streaks of light that happen when Earth passes through a comet.

NASA said in a statement: “As meteor showers go, the Lyrids are relatively mild. Most years in April there are no more than 10 to 20 Lyrid meteors per hour. But sometimes, when Earth glides through an unusually dense clump of debris from Comet Thatcher, the rate increases, resulting in what is known as a meteor outburst. Sky watchers in 1982, for instance, counted 90 Lyrids per hour.”