The Lyrid Meteor Shower

The annual Lyrid meteor shower, derived from particles dropped by comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher), runs from April 16 to 25 every year. This shower can produce up to 18 meteors per hour, with occasional fireballs. Lyrids is one of the oldest known meteor showers, which could be seen without any special equipment. But if you want to catch them these days, you really need to find an area with clear skies far from the city lights.

This year, its peak is expected to be from Monday, April 22 until dawn April 23, worldwide. You can start watching as soon as it's dark. True Lyrids will appear to be travelling away from a point in space (the shower’s radiant) near the bright star Vega, which will be high in the eastern sky before dawn. Unfortunately, a bright, gibbous moon will wash out all but the brightest meteors this year.

Even when the peak number occurs before dawn, meteors will still be visible before midnight, too. Don't worry about looking directly at the radiant. Bring a blanket and a chaise to avoid neck strain. And remember that binoculars and telescopes will not help: their field of view is too narrow to see the long meteor trails. If you have friends or family along, don’t look at each other while chatting. Keep your eyes to the skies!

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Image Credit:Vito Technology

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