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Meteorite shower to be visible in Yucatán’s sky mid-April

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Meteor Thatcher hurls through space. Photo: Courtesy

During the second half of April, a prolonged meteor shower will be visible in Yucatán’s night sky. 

It will be visible in Yucatán from April 16 to 30, but will reach its greatest intensity on Thursday, April 22. That’s when skygazers can expect to see a meteorite every four minutes on average, or about 15 an hour. 

A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky called radiant.

“Meteor showers are made up of stellar objects made of stone and ice, or sometimes even metal,” said astronomer Eddie Ariel Salazar from the Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida.

The radiant, or point of origin, of the meteor shower, is a nearby comet known to astronomers as CY1961 G1, or by its nickname Thatcher. 

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The particles, which will be seen burning up in the earth’s atmosphere, will emanate from the meteorite itself.

Most meteorite fragments that enter the atmosphere burn up within seconds, but about 5% do actually end up hitting the earth’s surface.

But there is little reason for concern. Even when meteorite fragments do hit the earth, most of the time they are so tiny that no one even notices. 

The Thatcher meteor comes near Earth every year in April, and its resulting meteorite showers are observable from several points around the globe. 

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