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Fireballs! 'Tis the season for massive meteors.

Tonight (April 23) through Friday at dawn may be your best chance of the year to spot a fireball, a meteor that shines brighter than Venus, the brightest planet in the sky.

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Prospects for 2013

It should be stressed that this possible fireball stream bears no relation to the annual performance of the Lyrid meteor shower.

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If you do plan on watching the night sky for any prospective fireball activity this year, keep in mind that you're going to have stiff competition from a very bright moon which, unfortunately, turns full on April 25.

The moon’s brilliant light will squelch the light of all but the brightest stars, but if you’re lucky enough to witness a fireball suddenly bursting forth, it should easily be seen in spite of the moonlight. 

Also keep in mind that any potential fireball sightings are likely to be very few and very far between. This plus that bright moon might sound discouraging, but considering what some have been lucky to see in the past around this time of year, it still just might be worthwhile to spend a little time under the stars on the nights of April 23, 24 and 25. 

You never know.

Editor's note: If you snap a great photo dazzling fireball that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, send photos, comments and your name and location to managing editor Tariq Malik at

Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for The New York Times and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12 Westchester, New York. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook or Google+. Originally published on

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