Clouds could hamper view of meteor shower to peak over Australia tonight

CLOUD cover is expected to obstruct the view of a meteor shower tipped to peak over Australia tonight.

The Lyrids meteor shower – active from April 16 to April 25 – is expected to peak over Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT from around 10pm on Saturday.

Best viewing of the shower, however, is tipped to be just before dawn on Sunday but unfortunately for many, forecast cloud cover is likely to hamper the view.


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For those who want to spot a meteor (or 12) and are lucky enough to have a clear sky tonight, try and distance yourself from the city lights and look up, generally towards the north.

A large meteor was filmed burning up over the Gold Coast as it ripped through the sky above southeast Queensland last Sunday, marking the beginning of the annual shower.

It was around 6pm when Deslee Oldham inadvertently filmed the spectacle from her Runaway Bay unit.

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The Lyrid meteors hail from a comet known as C/1861 G1 (Thatcher) which is located more than one hundred billion kilometres away from earth.

The shower, which usually produces around 15 to 20 meteors per hour at its peak, has the longest recorded history of any meteor shower, with observations dating back to at least 687BC.

While typically only a moderately active shower, the Lyrids can occasionally be truly spectacular and produce rates much higher than normal every 60 years or so, an event known as an outburst.

The most recent such event occurred in 1982 when, for a short time, rates topped 90 meteors per hour.

Back in 1803 however, the shower was more spectacular still with rates of more than 700 per hour recorded over the eastern states of the U.S.

For a complete guide on when and where to watch a meteor shower in 2017, click here.