The Lyrid Meteor Shower Should Offer Quite A Nighttime Show

lyrid meteor shower above earth

April 22nd marks the height of the annual Lyrid Meteor Shower, one of the brightest such shows.

 

This week marks the height of the annual Lyrid Meteor Shower, one of the brightest shows in our cosmic neighborhood. The Earth will be passing through the trail of a comet discovered in 1861. This latter’s remaining pieces will come shooting through the sky in what always promises to be a good show. Considering the fact that the moon will be a crescent, there will likely be little interference in areas with clear skies and away from cities.

How Best To View the Lyrid Meteor Shower

The rules to having the best view of the meteor shower are similar to those for viewing any other such event. Avoid congested areas like cities and lit parks. Find isolated places with little light pollution. You will also want to avoid a cloud cover, if possible.This particular shower is best seen in the Northern Hemisphere from April 18 through April 24. However, the best times to see it will be early Saturday and Sunday morning. The show can usually be best seen just before sunrise. As many as ten to twenty meteors may break through the atmosphere during every hour of the spectacle.

2017 promises nine major meteor showers, including the more popular Perseid and Geminid events.  However, not all of these will have a good viewing. Several will occur during the full moon, which outshines the “shooting stars”, interfering with the observer’s view. The Orionid shower in October will likely provide the next best view of such an event for the entire year.For the Lyrid Meteor Shower, you will want to look to the northeast to find the radiant point from which the shooting stars will emerge. This is the actual path of the comet. The meteors will then radiate from that point in every direction as they catch the atmosphere, lighting up as they burn out in a fiery end to their long, cold stay in space.

“It would be best to face towards the northern half of the sky with the moon at your back.” At least according to an AMS recommendation.
Image Source: Wikimedia

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