In 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) observed the first detection of gravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of spacetime created by the cataclysmic collision of two black holes. The Syracuse University Gravitational Wave Group played a leading role in this…
Lyrids for the Layperson
A celestial showcase will be visible this week, as the Lyrid meteor shower will likely peak Wednesday morning. For those who may be a Lyrids layperson, Sam Sampere from the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences provides six helpful things to know:
1) The Lyrids are a result of meteor’s passing through the orbit of the Comet Thatcher, which passes near the sun only once every 415 years. This is one reason we are still discovering comets. Just think, no cameras 415 years ago. Unlike Haley’s comet, which passes every 76-ish years, this comet occurred so frequently that we have enough written history.
2) Look toward the star Vega, which is part of the constellation Lyra, and one of the stars of the Summer Triangle. Look high in the sky to the northeast after 10 p.m. Vega is easily apparent if you know where to look.
3) Where to look? skymaponline.net/skymap.aspx is a great sky map.
4) As it gets later, Vega rises higher in the sky.
5) As it’s a New Moon, the sky will be dark and only polluted by artificial lights. The viewing, if the skies are clear, will be excellent!
6) The next meteor shower is coming in a few weeks—the Eta Aquarid shower appears the first week of May.