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Stargazers can expect a treat of sorts this Holy Week with the Lyrids meteor shower - an annual phenomenon caused by the Earth's path through the powdery tail of Comet Thatcher (C/1861 G1) - on April 21 and 22, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.
In its astronomical diary for April, PAGASA said that while the showering streak of meteors will not be numerous, they will be swift and vibrant.
PAGASA noted that the Lyrids meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,600 years. It cited Chinese records indicating "stars fell like rain" during the meteor shower of 687 B.C.

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Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) remind the public of the annual Lyrid Meteor Shower in April.
In 2011 the Lyrids are predicted to reach a peak of about twenty meteors per hour before dark on the evening of Friday, April 22. Of course, we will not be able to observe them during daylight hours. This means that the mornings of April 22 and 23 will be the peak times for observing this years Lyrids. As with all meteor showers, the Lyrids are best observed between midnight and dawn from a clear, dark location with a good horizon.

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The meteor shower peaks early on Thursday 22 April (GMT), when 10-20 meteors per hour are expected to be visible under favourable conditions.
Scientists say the best time to observe the meteor shower is during the dark hours before dawn.

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Meteor shower reaches peak tomorrow

As dependable a sign as there is that spring is truly here is currently visible in the pre-dawn sky, says Andrew Fazekas of Montreal, astronomy correspondent for The Weather Network.
And that is the annual Lyrid meteor shower that has been appearing from about April 16 to April 25 for literally thousands of years, Fazekas said in a phone interview.

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Rosa Williams with the Coca-Cola Space and Science Centre says we are almost reaching the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower. She says you will have the best chance to see the shower this Thursday between 2 AM and 5 AM.
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This should be a favourable year for this sometimes strong shower. From the mid-northern latitudes, where it is best seen, the radiant on the Lyra-Hercules border at maximum is on view after about 11:30 p.m., improving in elevation all night.
The waxing gibbous moon sets between 1 and 2 a.m. Lyrids are swift meteors, on occasion spectacularly bright, with approximately 20 to 25 percent leaving persistent trains.

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One of the world's oldest known meteor showers will become visible to observers on Earth, including the Philippines, on April 22, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.
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