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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 | MYT 4:15 PM
Russians with smartphones and dashboard cameras captured footage of a meteor that flashed across the night sky near the Arctic Circle over the weekend. It's part of an annual meteor that lucky Malaysians may be able to catch too.
There were no reports of damage but the ball of fire raised eyebrows after a meteorite crashed to Earth near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, shattering windows, damaging buildings and injuring more than 1,200 people.
Footage from a dashboard camera in a car on a snow-lined road in the Murmansk region, north of the Arctic Circle, showed a bright ball streaking diagonally toward Earth, pulsating twice and disappearing behind a building. The time was 2:14am on Sunday (2214 GMT on Saturday).
Russia’s TV Tsentr television said it was part of the annual Lyrid meteor shower and disintegrated before it could hit the ground.
The Lyrids meteor shower are usually active between April 16 and April 25 every year. It tends to peak around April 22 or April 23.
Considered to be the oldest known meteor shower, the Lyrids are named after constellation Lyra. The radiant point of the shower – the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from – lies near the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky during this time of the year.
The Lyrids are associated with comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun.
Although the best places to view the Lyrid meteor shower is further up north, lucky Malaysians may be able to catch it too. Just find a place that's not polluted by artificial light, preferably somewhere on high ground, lie down and aim your eyes upwards. Timeanddate.com has a handy guide for skywatchers. – Reuters
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