For anyone who may not be aware, there is a meteor shower coming up. This happens to be the Lyrid meteor shower and it will be quite a spectacular event.
While it will take place from April 16th to April 25th, April 22nd will be its peak. That being said, April 21st and 23rd should be quite spectacular as well. This shower happens every year and some years it is better than others. While you may see one or two meteors here and there before the 22nd on the night of the 22nd you should expect to see between 10-20 per hour.
This year the moon shouldn’t be a problem and an outburst of meteors is always possible. While it is not likely the whole sky itself could be lit up. Another unique thing about the Lyrid meteors is that about a fourth of them leave a trail behind them as they flow past. The Radiant point for this shower is from the constellation Lyra the Harp. This will take place near the star known as Vega.
These meteors that come from the Lyrid shower are basically pieces that broke off of the comet Thatcher. This comet has an orbit of 415 years. You should be able to see this shower just fine regardless of where you are within reason. That being said, it is always good to keep an eye on the weather.
You won’t need any binoculars or telescopes, these shooting stars will be able to be seen from just about everywhere with the naked eye. Keep your eyes towards Vega and you should see quite a few, while meteor showers can be frustrating they are quite spectacular. I believe between midnight and 5 am would be the best time to try and view these beauties. Personally around 2 am I will be taking a peek on the 22nd.
According to AOL, the Lyrid shower is considered to be the oldest known meteor shower. They have been observed for almost three thousand years and date back to 687 BC by the Chinese. That being said, if you miss this shower there will be quite a few this year some better and some not as good. Some people have reported being able to see as many as 100 meteors per hour during this shower so who knows what it may have in store for us.
I for one am quite excited. Will you be watching?