The Lyrids meteor shower is one of the oldest celestial events known to mankind. According to NASA, the first recorded sighting dates back to 687 BC. It’s an annual natural phenomenon, which usually occurs during late April.
The Lyrids are known for their bright and fast meteors and can count as many as 100 celestial objects per hour. Although, on most occasions, about 10-20 meteors can be seen per hour during their peak.
When Will the Lyrids Pass by Earth in 2022?
The Lyrids meteor shower will start on April 15 and will remain active until April 29. The event will reach its peak on April 21 and will last for a little more than 24 hours. It’s a fun spectacle that is worth enjoying with friends and family.
How to Observe the Lyrids?
According to NASA, the Lyrids are best observed in the Northern Hemisphere during the dark hours. Experts share that 11 p.m. is the best time to watch the meteors as the moon’s brightest can’t interfere with the visibility of the shower. It’s also easier to see the Lyrids in rural areas as the amount of light pollution is significantly lower compared to urban areas.
Will There Be Another Meteor Shower in 2022?
Both professional and amateur meteoriticists can’t complain about the showers expected in 2022. The Lyrids will be followed by Eta Aquarid, which also starts on April 15 but will reach its peak on May 4 and May 5. Then will come Delta Aquarid’s turn at the of July, which will be a perfect opening for the Perseids that will peak on August 11 and August 12. The year will end with a bang as almost every week from the beginning of October and onwards there will be a different meteor shower, including the Geminids.
Celestial events such as these are an amazing experience that everyone should get to enjoy at least once in their lifetime.
The crocodiles that live today remain nearly unchanged from their ancient ancestors who lived alongside dinosaurs in the Cretaceous and Jurassic period, nearly 200 million years ago. A time when humans weren’t yet in the picture! Recent scientific research focusing on the stop-start pattern of evolution explains why the crocodile remains so similar to its ancestors.
Evolution Triggered by Environmental Changes
Fossil records show that prehistory saw a wider variety of crocodiles. Some of them were dinosaur-sized giants, some were serpentine, while others were even plant-eaters. However, the remaining species today sees a very small diversity as opposed to many other animal species. During their research, the scientists from the University of Bristol came to the conclusion that the crocodile species follows a stop-start evolutionary pattern. Their speed of evolution increases as the climate gets warmer and their body size gets larger.
The Course of the Research
Dr. Max Stockdale, the lead author of the research, explains how they utilized a machine learning algorithm in their analysis to estimate how much the crocodile species has changed over a certain amount of time. The measurements that were relevant to the research were the size of the animals, how quickly they grow, their food intake requirements, and how likely they were to become extinct. The results show that crocodiles have reached a body type that’s versatile and efficient enough not to require further change for survival purposes.
Crocodiles Have a Slow Rate of Change
This species follows what’s called ‘punctuated equilibrium’, which means that they evolve rapidly only when the environment changes significantly enough to warrant adaptation. They survived the extinction event that caused the dinosaurs to perish. They thrived in the warmer conditions of the period because they can’t regulate their body temperature and need warmth from the environment. Further research will focus on why some crocodile species died out while others remained.