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Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks on April 22

In the predawn hours on April 22, look for fast and bright meteors
By - posted 4/21/2021 No Comment

Thanks to Earthsky for sharing the details about April’s meteor shower, The Lyrids. 

The Lyrids are usually active every year from April 16 to 25. In 2021, the Lyrid meteor shower will peak predawn on Thursday, April 22. Head out after 10:30 pm on April 21 to try your best to catch some shooting stars. The best visibility will be closer to dawn, when the moonlight is less visible.

If you miss the spectacle at its peak, the meteor shower will also be good to watch the following night.

As NASA, notes, “The Lyrids, which peak during late April, are one of the oldest known meteor showers: Lyrids have been observed for 2,700 years. (The first recorded sighting of a Lyrid meteor shower goes back to 687 BC by the Chinese.)

The Lyrids are known for their fast and bright meteors, though not as fast or as plentiful as the famous Perseids in August, Lyrids can surprise watchers with as many as 100 meteors seen per hour. Sightings of these heavier showers occurred in 1803 (Virginia), 1922 (Greece), 1945 (Japan), and 1982 (U.S.). In general, 10-20 Lyrid meteors can be seen per hour during their peak.

Lyrids frequently leave glowing dust trains behind them as they streak through the Earth’s atmosphere. These trains can be observable for several seconds.”

Viewing Tips

“The Lyrids are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere during the dark hours (after moonset and before dawn). Find an area well away from city or street lights. Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.” – NASA