Portland, Oregon Coast May Get Views of Lyrid Meteor Showers This Weekend
(Oregon Coast) – Conditions probably aren't going to cooperate 100 percent of the time along the Oregon coast, but in Portland the skies should be clear enough to catch the Lyrid Meteor Showers, which peak on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22 (above: star movement over the ocean at Neahkahnie Mountain, Manzanita.)
According to NASA, this will be a good year to look for the Lyrids as the moon is new and thus not very bright. There should be some clearing of the skies over the weekend along the Oregon coast at night but more in the Portland area. The showers will likely only be visible intermittently in places like Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Newport or Yachats – if at all. But Portland and inland Oregon will likely have more favorable conditions.
The Lyrid Meteor Showers come from the remnants of the Comet Thatcher, often producing 15 to 20 shooting stars an hour. This comet debris has been bringing a light show to the planet Earth for at least 2600 years, say scientists, with clouds of the comet's dust letting loose little specks that hit the atmosphere at around 110,000 mph. (Above: Arch Cape near Cannon Beach)
Meanwhile, there is a firm Oregon connection to this shower as the International Space Station will be filming this flurry of fireballs – and the man at the camera will be Silverton-raised astronaut Don Petit. Petit and the ISS are part of an unusual science experiment where the station and various agencies and amateurs on the ground will be photographing the shower at the same time. The ISS and Petit will be photographing the event on Saturday as it passes over north America.
Good spots for looking for the showers along the Oregon coast will be darker areas, like the Neahkahnie Overlooks near Manzanita, beaches of Rockaway Beach, Arch Cape near Cannon Beach, Yachats and Cape Perpetua, Gleneden Beach near Depoe Bay, and any other beach where light interference is minimal.
Lincoln City at night
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