The Lyrid meteor shower is almost here yet again and many are quite excited. If you missed it last year, this year might be your chance to catch something very special.
For those who do not know the Lyrid meteor shower is a fantastic sky show that happens once a year. Peak is set to occur on April 22nd-23rd and while not as magical as some showers, you should at least be able to catch 20 or so meteors per hour. That being said, you should be able to see a few here and there between April 19th and all the way until April 25th.
This shower was named after the constellation Lyra and is actually one of the oldest recorded meteor showers. It is one we have been viewing for the past few thousand years and the debris causing it comes from the comet Thatcher. According to Time and Date, Thatcher won’t truly be visible again until around the year 2276 so these meteor showers are the closest glimpse any of us will get between now and possibly the time we pass from this world.
You don’t need any special equipment or a lot of skills to view a meteor shower. Even though all you really need is a clear sky, lots of patience, and our handy Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map with a visibility conditions meter to see a meteor shower, the following tips can help maximize your shooting star viewing experience.
Find a secluded viewing spot, away from the city lights. Once at the venue, your eyes may take 15 to 20 minutes to get used to the dark.
Dress for the weather, and make sure you are comfortable, especially if you plan to stay out long. Bring a blanket or a comfortable chair with you—meteor watching can be a waiting game.
Once you have found your viewing spot, lie down on the ground and look up in the direction of the radiant. Use our Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map or the table above to find the current direction of the radiant in the sky.
As noted, the further away from the city you get the better. If you live out in the ‘middle of nowhere’ then you’re in store for quite the sight. Lyra will be high in the sky to the northeast of Vega and quite prominent. That being said, you shouldn’t really focus too intensely on the radiant as these meteors will have longer tails the further away they are.
I love viewing things like this and making wishes, there is something truly mind-blowing surrounding the events and the memories made when experiencing them. Sure, 20 meteors per hour doesn’t sound like a lot but when you’re actually experiencing it, it’s enough to make you realize how small we are in this universe. There is so much out there that we have yet to explore.
To see last year’s shower please feel free to check out the video below. Will you be taking the time to view the Lyrids? I know I will be lying outside on my deck waiting to see all of the wonders of the night sky.