Annual Lyrid meteor shower to peak in WA outback skies from this weekend

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Tom ZaunmayrAugusta Margaret River Times
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The Lyrid meteor shower will peak from this weekendPicture: NASA
Camera IconThe Lyrid meteor shower will peak from this weekendPicture: NASA Credit: Supplied

It could be described as the only show in town next week — dozens of meteors streaking across the night sky offering housebound WA residents a moment of splendour in isolation.

The Lyrid meteor show will peak in the pre-dawn hours from Sunday to Wednesday this year, with keen stargazers able to see about 10 to 15 meteors an hour.

Pre-dawn on Wednesday is expected to be the best time to watch the show and a near-new moon should leave the sky with minimal light pollution.

Stargazers Club WA president Carol Redford said meteor watching would be a fun way to spend a night camping out in the backyard.

“There will still be a bit of a moon, so the fainter ones we probably won’t see,” she said.

“It will be a good one though, especially too if people are joining in that backyard camping that’s been going on.

“It gives something for the kids to lay back and see if they can count satellites and shooting stars.”

For keen shutterbugs, a tripod, wide-angle lens and manual focus set on infinity is recommended.

Shutter speed should be set slow — around 15 to 30 seconds — and ISO can be bumped up to as high as 2000. The lower the f/stop can go, the better.

Remote triggers or a built-in timer should also be used to prevent movement associated with touching the camera.

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