Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Lyrid meteor shower starts Monday night

April Lyrids Meteor Shower Rachael Armstead EyeEm Getty Images
Sandra Phillips | 17 April, 2018, 19:52

The show starts Monday night but the best viewing is on early Sunday morning.

"Meteor watching requires plenty of patience, particularly with a medium-strength shower such as the Lyrids", wrote Paul Sutherland on Skymania.

The Met Office says, 'This year the Lyrid Meteor Shower will be visible from 16-25 April, peaking on 22 April.

Lyrid meteors will appear to radiate from this position in the sky on April 22, 2018; here shown at 1 a.m. local time over New York City. Don't look directly toward the radiant, though, because you might miss the meteors with the longest tails.

Getty Lyrid meteor shower 2018: When to see the Lyrid meteor shower?

Some years, the Lyrid meteor shower intensifies and can produce up to 100 meteors per hour in what's called an "outburst", but it is hard to predict exactly when that will happen. Those few hours before dawn are the flawless time to find a great spot away from the busy city lights, lie back in the crisp morning air and enjoy the stunning display on the dark, moonless sky. Its peak will occur on the night of May 5 and last until May 6.

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The Lyrids are known for their fast and bright meteors, NASA said, though not as fast or as plentiful as the famous Perseids in August.

"The moon will be really favorable for them this year; it will set by the time the Lyrid radiant is high in the sky", Cooke told Space.com.

So, grab a warm blanket to shield you from the cool morning air and head out to a secluded place outside the city, lie down on the grass or on the hood of your vehicle with your feet pointing east and look up. Observers there said the Lyrids were "falling like rain".

The meteors appear to emanate from the constellation Lyra the Harp, near the bright star Vega, which rises in late evening and passes almost overhead shortly before dawn, the magazine said. As they burn up in the atmosphere, the meteors leave bright streaks in the sky commonly referred to as "shooting stars".

The astronomical event is expected to produce as many as 20 shooting stars per hour - as long as the skies remain clear.

The Lyrids meteor shower has been observed for about 2,700 years, according to NASA, and is one of the oldest known meteor showers. They originate from comet Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861.

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